Sunday, 17 May 2009

Bhutan : TSC introduces token system

May 15: The Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) and the Taxi Service Centre (TSC) in Thimphu have introduced a coupon system for taxi drivers. Under the system, taxi drivers will have to get a coupon the first thing they arrive for work in the morning. Passengers who come to the parking area will be allotted to the taxi drivers based on the coupon numbers.

The coupon system which was introduced today came as a surprise to most of the cab drivers. While the new system is supposed to streamline the whole process, it has created a rift among the cab drivers themselves. The rift is mainly between small taxis and those with bigger sitting capacity. Drivers of small taxis said the new coupon system does not make any sense to them.

But some cab drives said the system will bring some discipline in this line of business.

The TSC said the system was introduced so that all the drivers will get equal opportunities. It said there will be teething problems initially.

The Director of the RSTA Tashi Norbu said the new system was put in place so that all the drivers will get a fair share of the income. It will also prevent arguments over passengers.

The TSC said it is not mandatory for cab drivers to collect coupons. This announcement seemed to ease the tension. But before long they realized that taxi drivers who do not get the coupon will not be allowed to use the taxi parking area.

Cab drivers said it was grossly unfair and asked where cab drivers who do not accept the system will park their cabs. The situation remains unresolved at the moment and whether the new rule will work remains to be seen.

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