Submissions invited in review to set final taxi fare charge

The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) is reviewing the current interim maximum taxi fare to release a final authorisation on the flagfall charge.

This follows the issuance of an interim authorisation mid-July this year, where taxi fare flagfall was increased to provide some relief to the taxi industry while the commission carried out its review. For instance, the new taxi flag fall charge on Viti Levu was increased from $1.50 to $2 from 6am to 9pm and $3 from 9pm to 6am.

The review considered a  number of costs, including fuel, spare parts, repair and maintenance, and other relevant factors.  

While it is unclear what the new flagfall will be pegged at, the FCCC says it “will balance the needs of the taxi industry, as well as the needs of the customers.”

“FCCC considers the review necessary for the Fijian market to ensure that the taxi industry remains viable and earns/generates a fair income, and that taxi fares are affordable,  reasonable, and accessible to all Fijians,” FCCC Chief Executive Joel Abraham said.

As such the commission is inviting the Fijian public and taxi industry stakeholders to provide their views and formal submissions to assist FCCC in carrying out the review and authorising the final taxi fare.

The commission hopes the submission will address problems prevalent in the taxi industry especially that of driver welfare, comprehensive insurance, the risk associated with night driving, and vandalism, all of which it felt were not adequately addressed in the previous submissions.

“Apart from the symbiotic relationships that exist between consumers, taxi drivers, and owners,  we also need to take into account the different social, commercial, and economic realities in different towns and the need to reflect this in the fare structure,” said Mr. Abraham said.

“To make sound regulatory policies and decisions for the benefit of the Fijian taxi industry and  consumers, we need to have robust feedback from the taxi industry including drivers and  operators, public and stakeholders.” 

Over the past three months, the FCCC has been actively involved in conducting stakeholder consultations and interviews to gather more information and feedback and will continue similar nationwide consultations in the upcoming weeks.

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