Maxi-taxi woes or ineffective leadership?

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How much of their profits do maxi taxi owners and the Maxi-Taxi Association (MTA) give to the Government? Do they discuss with their travelling public or the Government, increases in their fares? Are they providing a social service without regard for profits? Who is the primary beneficiary of the maxi-taxi system? What is the role of the Maxi-Taxi Advisory Committee (MTAC)?

Admittedly, owing to secretive, ill-practised or non-existent State transportation policies, maxi-taxis provide a valuable service to the travelling public. However, without passengers, there would be no need for maxi-taxis, yet there are many more maxi-taxis now than in previous years, clearly signifying the importance of this option. In light of the State’s inattention to efficient public transportation, maxi-taxis not only provide value but should undoubtedly be profitable.

The primary purpose of any business organisation is to satisfy its customers. What have the MTA and the MTAC done to ensure satisfied and happy passengers? The passengers are not predisposed to ensuring the MTA is profitable but will gravitate to maxi-taxis once their service holds value. Maxi-taxis provide a competing service with taxis, buses and private cars albeit at a lower price than taxis. However, the travelling public makes its choice. Consequently, it is in the interest of the MTA and MTAC to make sure that the travelling public is satisfied and eager to use maxi-taxis.

One has to wait longer periods if travelling by maxi-taxi compared to using a taxi. Therefore it is essential that adequate physical amenities such as toilet facilities, sanitising facilities in light of the pandemic and clean surroundings be provided. This matters to the potential passenger who will make a decision on whether or not to use a maxi-taxi.

It is agreed that there are other stakeholders involved with the maxi taxi travelers, such as the Government and businesses whose workers rely on transportation to get to and from work. Both the MTA and MTAC need to display leadership qualities and treat maxi-taxi transportation as a going concern.

What prevents the MTA from putting aside one dollar per maxi-taxi trip towards financing physical amenities? Wouldn’t this amount to thousands of dollars daily? What proposals have been put to the Government and businesses primarily, by the MTA and MTAC to contribute to the upkeep of the maxi-taxi environment? Whilst the Government has been assisting its citizens, businesses and other entities, especially in this pandemic period, it is not a welfare Government nor is it creating a welfare state.

Instead of decrying the State’s lack of support and enthusiasm in assisting maxi-taxi owners, the MTAC should provide beneficial advice to the MTA to utilise its resources to profitably manage its affairs, provide good customer service and become an enviable and sought-after transportation option.

Fare rises are not the solution. Potential passengers will seek alternatives when rising fares become untenable. The role of the MTAC is not to be photogenic but value-adding to the MTA!

Harjoon Heeralal
Carapichaima