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Honor First Those That Have Played by the Rules

Bali's Licensed Taxi Operators See Any Amnesty for Illegal Transportation Operators as Unjust and Inimical to Their Interests.

(6/4/2011) The growing controversy in Bali over gypsy taxis or private charter vehicles is now eliciting comments from Bali's formal taxi fleet who are reminding all concerned that the illegal taxi fleet represents their competition. The taxi drivers are asking the Transportation, Information and Communications Department (Dishub) for the province of Bali to act fairly in resolving the problem of unlicensed vehicle.

Quoted in the Bali Post, Nyoman Sudaria, a licensed taxi driver said: "If the private charter cars and drivers are found to be breaking the law, I hope the government will act fairly and continue to punish them as they have been over the past weeks. This is needed because the private charter drivers are our competitors." He said the fleet of "black taxis" has increased the competition for passengers, adding, "don't just bring them to hearings, but give them strong punishments so others will not try to operate similar illegal transportation."

Another driver, Ketut Suarsa, said he supports efforts by Dishub to bring illegal transport operators into line in Bali. He said he hoped the government would not hesitate to take action against those proven to be breaking the law. "Don't waste time, if they're wrong, take action against them," he said. Suarsa said he wants Dishub  not only to move against charter vehicles without proper permits, but to also arrest private vehicles used to commercially transport airline passengers at Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport. "There are black taxis, primarily at the airport. Officials must also take action against them," added Suarsa.

The chief of Bali's Dishub, Made Santha, told the press he did not want to be rash in taking action. Because of that, he has created a special team including members of his department, the police and Jasa Raharja (State-owned insurance company). He said: "We need to set a clear legal framework to deal with this problem, there's no need to rush. What's clear is that with our special team we will move against those found to be violating the law." He said under whatever name the various forms of transport use – be it charter or freelance – if they are breaking the transportation law No. 22 of 2009 they must be brought into line with the existing regulations.