Taxi Commuters will have to dig deep into their pockets as many taxi operators start to implement fare hikes for local trips while the long-distance fares will increase from next month.
The National Taxi Alliance (NTA) says that the high petrol price, as well as the costs associated with vehicle maintenance, has contributed to the increase.
They say that talks are in the pipeline with government to try and find an amicable solution to their plight. The NTA has proposed that taxi fares should increase by between 25% and 30 %, but says it’s the discretion of Taxi Associations to decide how much they want to increase the taxi fares.
They say that the high costs of vehicle finance installments, petrol prices and maintenance costs have contributed to the increase.
The NTA says they have been trying to absorb the costs to avoid the increase but they can no longer afford to contain the costs.
“The high cost of fuel has squeezed our profit margins to an extend that we no longer surviving as you see many vehicles are being reprocessed,” says Theo Malele, NTA Spokesperon.
Taxi Commuters have raised concerns about the fact that the costs of everything is going up while their salaries have remain stagnant. And they say they simply cannot afford to deal with the escalating costs of taxi fares.
“What can we say, petrol price is going up but they should at least consider increasing the salaries as well I was spending R21 now it’s R24 per trip,” a Commuter explains.
VIDEO: Taxi fares to increase in Gauteng
Some Taxi Associations say they were left with no choice but to increase taxi fares even before the annual July time frame. They blame the Government for not doing enough to support them.
The long distance fares will increase by R20 rand in July and some local taxi fares have already increased prices by R2.
“We normally increase prices in July but the petrol price is costing us a lot of money and if we do not increase prices now taxi owners are going to experience problems,” says Thabo Sebanyama, Sizwe Transport Association.
The NTA has called on the Government to address the issue of not subsidizing the taxi industry to try and offset the extra costs they are dealing with.
VIDEO: Minibus taxi fares to increase amid high fuel prices
Source: SABC News (sabcnews.com)