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The Meterís Running

Bali Consumers Are Complaining About Devious Taxi Drivers with Bogus Meters.

(6/27/2011) Bali’s Consumer Protection Agency (LPK) claims they are receiving many complaints regarding taxi service in Bali.

Quoted in Bisnis Bali, the chairman of the LPK, Putu Armaya, said: “There are still many taxis using meters that are not officially calibrated that need to be given strong sanctions (by the authorities). We are hoping that the fare meters of all taxis can be routinely calibrated.”

The LPK is calling on the Bali Department of Transportation, via the Meteorology Department, to routinely recalibrate the fare meters because of the frequent complaints from the public regarding incorrect fares.
Armaya says taximeters should be recalibrated once every three months. The current rules provide for a possible revocation of the business license of a taxi and the imprisonment of the driver whenever malfeasance involving a tax-fare meters is uncovered

In addition to many case of non-calibrated tax meters, the LPK also receives complaints about taxis operating or refusing to use a meter. Armaya sees such behavior by taxi operators as destructive to Bali’s image as a tourism destination, warning, “taxi operators who set their own tariffs can be brought before the law, such behavior contains elements of fraud.

The head of Bali’s Consumer Protection Agency wants the government to be firm in dealing with taxis operating fraudulent taximeters. In his view, any tax operating a non-calibrated or uncertified taximeter can be categorized as operating a gypsy taxi. Adding, “the uncertain fares charged by taxis in Bali can have a negative impact on Bali tourism.”

Armaya’s comments received support from the chairman of the Bali Transportation Association (DPD Organda Bali), Eddy Dharma Putra, who underlined the close linkage between Bali tourism and the transportation sector. “Taxi drivers in Bali cannot be allowed to do things that victimize their passengers,” declared Eddy.

In response, the chairman of the Bali Airport Taxi Cooperative, Wayan Pande Sudirtha, told Bisnis Bali that all his taxis have their meters recalibrated at least once ever six months. He also insisted that the Cooperative takes firm action against drivers found to be violating the law.
The current legal taximeter fare in Bali is Rp. 5,000 (US$0.57) at the flag-fall and Rp. 4,000 (US$0.45) for each kilometer of travel.

Sudirtha complained that the income of taxi drivers in Bali has fallen due to increased competition. In order to remain competitive, member of the Ngurah Rai Airport Taxi Cooperative are now renewing their fleet of vehicles to enhance service to the public.