Great news for the Cape Town taxi industry! The City of Cape Town recently reported that a new by-law is underway to better regulate the taxi trade and its operations…
Globalising Cape Town’s Taxi Standards
This comes after a comparative study was done with the world’s top cities transport-wise New York, Dublin, Sydney and Nairobi. Conducted by the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Metered Taxi Council, it aims to regulate the following areas:
- Pick-up conditions
- Vehicle and Service standards
The City of Cape Town had suspended new licenses from being issued during the by-law talks, only reinstating them on 1 December 2014. Now, it is required that all applications going forward be dealt with according to new strategy, which addresses the following concerns in the taxi industry:
- 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 CBD
- The lack of universal accessibility for passengers with special needs
- Inadequate regulation and law enforcement
Rikkis Stance on the By-Law
At Rikkis taxis, we uphold all of the above criteria to ensure that passengers get the best possible service and experience. Our vehicles are regularly serviced to meet the highest safety and comfort standards. They are also equipped to be fully accessible to passengers with special needs. Our drivers are also trained and monitored via our 24-hour call centre.
What the New Taxi By-Laws Stipulate
With that said, we would like our customers to be informed and know what to expect as far as quality service goes. From now on taxi services must meet the following criteria:
- A maximum fare/km will be specified, with a minimum charge for short distances and a waiting time charge.
- The fare for a journey will be regardless of the number of passengers, intermediate stops, time travelled or luggage.
- Flat fares will be introduced for trips from the airport to main destinations in the city.
- A roof sign will be on display at all times when a vehicle is being used as a metered taxi.
- Approved rates will be displayed on the vehicle and sealed in the meter.
- The maximum age of vehicles will be restricted to eight years as opposed to the current 12-year renewal requirement.
- Operators will be incentivised to provide wheelchair-accessible taxis.
- Any booking fee payable by the taxi operator to a third party, e.g. e-hailing, will be regulated.
- Knowledge, ability and customer care tests for drivers will be introduced.
- A formal complaint system will be established for passengers to report bad service.
- Investigations will be launched (as required) into operators’ performance which may lead to the suspension of a licence.
- Rank operators will be allowed to pick up passengers at any formal municipal rank within the city.
- Base operators will be allowed to pick up passengers throughout the city, but not at municipal ranks.
- Temporary ranks will be created at hot spots where there is a high demand for metered taxi services at a specific time of day/night.
- A metered taxi charter will be developed.
Listen to the announcement on the CT Media Soundcloud feed.
The taxi by-law will be rolled out over the next three years with piloting taking place in 2015/16, and implemention taking place thereafter.
Rikkis looks forward to joining the City of Cape Town in making taxi travel a more pleasurable experience for everyone!