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Kuta Gets Tough on Taxis

Local Citizens Take Law into Their Own Hands in Dealing with Taxis Failing to Follow standing Rules in Kuta

(10/23/2012) Community elements from the Kuta area of Bali have begun taking matters into their own hands in dealing with errant taxies illegally parked and waiting for their next fare in their area.

According to Bali Post, the area around Jalan Legian in Kuta saw tens of livery lamps attached to the roofs of taxis forcibly removed by local citizens who also delivered angry rebukes to illegally parked taxis.

The angry public response by Kuta community members that took place on Tuesday, October 16, 2012, arose from the frustration occasioned by the Bali Transportation Office’s continuing inability to bring taxis breaking the law into line.

The chairman of the Kuta’s People’s Association (LPM Kuta), Nyoman Graha Wicaksana, said on Wednesday, October 17, 2012, that taxis parked illegally in Kuta, especially on Jalan Legian, are a major factor in traffic congestion. Steps have been taken to reduce the number of taxis operating in Kuta and place strict limitations on where taxis can park and wait for fares.

Despite these measures, taxis continue to violate the new rules with little or no enforcement from the Bali Transportation office.

Taxis continue to park where they like, with one driver discovered by the press to be asleep in a “no waiting” area while waiting for his next passengers.

On Monday, October 15, 2012, at around 10:00 pm LPM Kuta, members of the local community, officers from the Transportation office and the Communication and Information Office of Badung launched street—based enforcement measures. Taxi drivers caught in the sweep were given warnings. However, once the raids were over the errant taxis quickly returned in force, continuing to break the rules and park in forbidden zones.

“In the end, on Tuesday at around 3:00 am a spontaneous action was undertaken by the LPM and the traditional village of Kuta. Livery lights on the roofs of errant taxis were yanked off and stored. This firm action was taken because they (the taxi drivers) have been repeatedly warned but continue to break the law,” said Graha Wicaksana. He said that by noon the following day some of the drivers had come back to Kuta to collect their confiscated roof lamps.

Graha Wicaksana hopes that taxi driver will show more concern for Kuta. While taxi driver are welcome to earn a living on the streets of Kuta, they must follow the rules on embarking and disembarking passengers. At the same time, he also issued the hope that Bali’s Department of Transportation would adopt a stronger line on enforcing existing rules in order to reduce traffic congestion in Kuta.