Inconsiderate taxi drivers must be put in their place

taxi-bus

By CY Ming

Kuala Lumpur was located in central Selangor when the Federal Territory was carved out from the state in 1974.

Millions of people cross the border between Selangor and Kuala Lumpur daily without realising it, except when passing the arch of Kota Darul Ehsan.

This giant twin-arch was built in 1981 across the Federal Highway separating Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur.

Just after the exit to Batu caves, a one and a half kilometre stretch of Jalan Kuching separates Selangor on the right where the Pasaraya Warta Lama is located, and Kuala Lumpur on the left.

The bus-cum-taxi stand in front of Warta is probably the longest in the country, with the front portion near the staircase to an overhead pedestrian bridge reserved for buses, but always occupied by waiting taxis.

The opposite bus-cum-taxi stand located on the Kuala Lumpur side is even worse. Although a lay-by was constructed for buses to drive in so as not to hold up traffic behind, the narrow lay-by is often blocked by taxis (see pics).

This stretch of the border between Selangor and Kuala Lumpur is similar to many “cowboy towns” that are common in many countries’ borders.

We have many enforcement agencies that include the police, Road Transport Department, Land Public Transport Commission, Selayang Municipal Council and Kuala Lumpur City Hall, but none determined to ensure taxi drivers behave at these two bus-cum-taxi stands.

If our enforcement agencies are shorthanded, they could outsource the surveillance to private security companies. All the security officers need do is record these violations on video and submit the evidence to the agency that appointed them.

The offending taxi drivers could easily be traced and reached by phone calls to report at the enforcement agency office.

Taxi drivers that express remorse could be let off with a warning but should be slapped with the maximum force of the law should they be caught again.

Issuing a few summonses daily whenever enforcement officers are on their rounds and calling up offending drivers at other times are sure to work wonders on taxi drivers’ behaviour.

Sadly, the lack of enforcement has emboldened taxi drivers to the point they think it is their right to occupy the spot reserved for buses. If they are not checked, the situation may turn hostile to passengers preferring buses over taxis, if they are not already.

The situation at these two bus-cum-taxi stands is a clear reflection on the “competency” of our enforcement agencies, not their key performance indicators.

CY Ming is an FMT reader.

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