Tuesday 14 July, 2020

Transport group calls for alienation of ‘robot’ taxis

A major group of transport operators has joined the police in urging members of the public to use only legitimate taxis in the face of reports of rogues impersonating taxi operators and robbing unsuspecting passengers.

The Transport Operators’ Development Sustainable Services (TODSS) has advised that the formal public transport sector cannot take responsibility for people who continue to use illegal transportation.

In a statement on Tuesday, TODSS, which represents taxi and minibus operators, urged commuters to use only licensed and marked public passenger vehicles (PPV) for their daily commute, as “this is the only way to ensure safe travel”.

The group outlined that, “It has been brought to our attention that (there are) persons out there operating white-plate vehicles, posing as taxis and robbing persons, giving the sector a bad name. We want to make it very clear that it is impossible for (operators of) unmarked cars or buses to (effectively) pose as public passenger vehicle (operators). A PPV unit carries several markings, which passengers must observe before embarking.”

The group also called on the Transport Authority to temporarily re-open all routes to provide an opportunity for all individuals who want to operate legal taxis, so that the number of illegal operators on the roads can be reduced.

The St Andrew Central police have warned of an emerging trend in the Corporate Area, where men posing as taxi operators have been robbing unsuspecting passengers.

The warning followed numerous reports that over the past few days, two men travelling in a grey Mazda Demio motorcar have been robbing unsuspecting passengers.

The men were noted to typically operate during the morning and evening peak hours, and frequent routes along Molynes Road, Hagley Park Road and in the Papine area, usually heading towards Half-Way Tree.

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