Taxi bosses act on traffic

2018-10-22 16:02
The Brookside Mall taxi holding area, which is being used to manage traffic congestion in town.

The Brookside Mall taxi holding area, which is being used to manage traffic congestion in town. (Ian Carbutt)

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Minibus taxi association Santaco has stepped in to ease traffic congestion caused by taxis in the city.

The programme will see local taxi owners working to prevent minibus taxis, particularly in Pietermaritz Street, near the Imbali taxi rank, from disrupting the flow of traffic in the area.

Santaco regional chairperson Bheki Sokhela said the association intervened after realising that taxis queuing at the taxi rank often blocked traffic.

Sokhela said the initiative will see only a few taxis at a time being allowed inside the rank.

“The rest will be accommodated at the holding area, near Brookside Mall. Once the taxi is full, we call the next one. It has been weeks since we started with the programme, and it is yielding positive results already.

“The situation in Pietermaritz Street had got out of hand and we had to do something. Passengers were getting mugged and the criminals would just simply disappear in the crowd.

“The criminals were even going as far as breaking windows in cars that were stuck in the traffic. In some cases, taxis would get blocked in and they could not leave,” he said.

Sokhela said the plan had also helped business people operating near Imbali taxi rank.

“Before, delivery trucks could not get to their shops because of traffic, but that has been sorted. Their customers were also getting mugged in that whole chaos, but now it is easy to isolate criminals because the street has been cleared,” he said.

Sokhela said they were also looking at implementing the same system at other taxi ranks that had similar problems.

“There are situations where members of the community are no longer able to use public toilets in taxi ranks because they have been hijacked by criminals. Those are the issues that we will be confronting.

“The challenge we are having is that it is costing us money because we have to pay the taxi owners who have dedicated their time in taxi ranks,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  taxi industry

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