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Crackdown on Illegal Taxi Continues

Bali Authorities Continue to Ticket Gypsy Taxi Drivers

(6/6/2011) An informal promise by the Bali Transportation, Information and Communications Agency (Dishub), the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) and the provincial enforcement agency (SATPOL-PP) to temporarily halt the crackdown on illegal transport operators is apparently not being honored.

NusaBali reports that the chairman of the Bali Association of Freelance Tourism Transport Drivers (ASAPF), Wayan Suata, is complaining that tickets are still being issued to gypsy taxi drivers who are members in his organization. The most recent sweeping action against illegal vehicle operators occurred on Jalan Tampaksiring in Gianyar where driver were supposedly ticketed and their passengers compelled to disembark. Said Suata: "We’re still being ticketed. Earlier my friends were ticked by the Gianyar Dishub."

Suata wants a suspension in enforcement measures that are causing the members of his association anxiety and diverting their normal flow of customers to seek transportation from licensed and insured operators. Suata said his members would organize permits if given time and an opportunity to due so by the authorities.

Members of the DPRD-Bali have criticized the continuing crackdown, claiming a temporary amnesty was in place while illegal drivers took the steps to register their vehicles.

Meanwhile, tourism observers working in the transportation sector question the viability of the current amnesty. Most illegal transportation operators are using family-owned vehicles to transport their customers, when in fact current rules only allow the registration and licensing of vehicles operated by transportation companies that meet strict registration, taxation, safety inspection and insurance criteria. Exactly how a privately owned vehicle could be assimilated into the current system remains potentialy problematic.