The City of Cape Town has developed a new strategy, intended to improve the metered taxi services in the city. In addition to more appropriate fare regulation and significant changes to metered taxis’ pick-up conditions, the new by-law to stem from this strategy will set minimum service standards as well.
The moratorium on the issuing of new operating licences for the metered taxi industry will be lifted on 1 December 2014 and all new applications will be dealt with in terms of the new strategy.
The intention of this strategy and the subsequent vehicle standards and safety specifications, policies and by-law is to improve the performance and service delivery of the metered taxi industry in the city. The interventions to be developed will systematically address issues of concern such as:
- electronic hailing (e-hailing)
- the quality of vehicles
- poorly trained drivers
- relatively high tariffs that are unrelated to the quality of service rendered
- the lack of services outside the Cape Town central business district (CBD)
- the lack of universal accessibility for passengers with special needs
- inadequate regulation and law enforcement
‘This transition will not happen overnight but over a period of three years to enable the industry and the City to adapt accordingly. Through this strategy, Transport for Cape Town (TCT) also intends to address the challenges faced by the industry, as pointed out by the metered taxi operators during six City-led workshops that were held in April this year,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.
In terms of the new strategy, metered taxis will no longer be constrained by a pick-up radius but allowed to pick up and drop off passengers anywhere in the city. TCT, in developing the new strategy, consulted with the Western Cape Metered Taxi Council and did a comparative study of international best practice in cities such as New York, Dublin, Sydney and Nairobi.
Illegal operators will be provided with a window period to legalise their operations by applying for an operating licence as a base operator.
It is envisaged that the necessary policies and by-law will be developed during the current financial year, that the new fare structure will be piloted in 2015/16, and that the other changes will follow thereafter.
‘These changes will enhance the status and accountability of the metered taxi industry, while at the same time improving residents’ confidence and trust in their services. Furthermore, this strategy is part of our commitment to building a City that is well-run and caring to residents and visitors alike, as well as to road users with special needs by improving on the universal accessibility of metered taxis,’ said Councillor Herron.