MALE, June 13, 2010 (HNS) - Taxi drivers are complaining about government’s decision to start mini-bus service in the capital Male, President of Male Municipality ‘Sarangu’ Adam Manik has said.
“Taxi drivers’ complaints are that their business will cease. But what I am saying is that overcrowding in Male will be resolved by working together with the taxi drivers. Bus service market is not that of the taxis. Even in Singapore, where taxis have the biggest market, there is a similar market for buses. So we have to think alike and find a solution for vehicle congestion in Male. Even now, if it is raining, taxis are not available during the time office and school hours end,” he said.
The latest complaints follow earlier concerns raised when the former government tried to start the service. Some blame taxi drivers for the long overdue.
The government later awarded a bus service project to Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC).
Adam Manik said a public transport system in the capital would reduce the number of private vehicles although the government is expected to face challenges initially.
“Introducing bus service would not be easy at the initial stage. Sometimes I ask myself whether anyone would wait 10 minutes for the bus, or if the person will opt to walk to the destination within those 10 minutes. Will people travel by bus on rainy days too? These questions come to mind. So we have many challenges as we start,” Manik said.
“But we don’t see a solution other than introducing bus service for Male.”
While the drafting of regulations is underway, the government expects to open the project for bidding at the end of the month, he added.