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Seeking a Fare that's Fair

In the Face of Higher Fuel Costs, Bali Tax Drivers Demonstrate for Higher Tariffs.

(10/30/2005) Hundreds of disgruntled Bali taxi drivers protested outside the office of Bali's Governor on Monday, October 24, 2005, demanding official permission to increase their government-mandated tariffs by at least 30-40% in order to cover recent increases in fuel charges. [See: Fuel Prices More than Double ]

Proposed New Tariff

In a letter, signed by a number of Bali taxi operators and sent to the Island's Governor, operators are demanding that:

Flag fall tariffs be increased from the current Rp. 4,000 (approximately US$0.40) to Rp. 5,000 (approximately US$0.50).

Per kilometer meter charges be increased from Rp. 2,500 (approximately US$0.25) to Rp. 4,000 (approximately US$0.40).

Stand-by charges for a taxi to wait be increased from Rp. 20,000 per hour (approximately US$1.98) to Rp. 30,000 (approximately US$2.97).

Problematic Times for Bali Taxi Drivers

Bali taxi drivers have been confronted with a multitude of problems since October 1, 2005. On that date, fuel prices for premium fuel increased 87.5% making it extremely difficult for drivers to achieve "targeted turnovers" set by fleet owners after paying increased fuel costs from their daily fare intake. Further complicating the taxi drivers' plight on that date was the bombing of three Bali night spots which many drivers blame for a 30-40% drop in passenger loads.

Observers are certain that the Governor will eventually approve a hike in fares for Bali taxis. Meanwhile, taxi drivers are hopeful that the requested approval will come "sooner" rather than "later," claiming that the convergence of current conditions has brought them to the brink of bankruptcy.