Unabated tricycle fares PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 10 April 2018 12:05

LOOKING IN

BY ROD BALBON

What happened to the city government’s move to resolve the overcharging of tricycle fares? If I recall, the City Council has discussed this matter to find ways and means to solve this problem. Tricycle drivers have now become very abusive and are charging the riding public exorbitantly with impunity. They know that the threat of being penalized and their tricycle franchise cancelled is nothing but a mere threat.

This unabated overcharging of tricycle fare has also given our city a “blackeye” to many visitors from other places who had experienced this unfortunate episode. Two weeks ago, two ladies from Manila planed in from Manila to attend a hearing regarding a labor complaint filed against their recruitment agency by an OFW from this city. They related to me that they went straight to NLRC by riding a tricycle for the scheduled hearing. Upon reaching their destination, they were greatly surprised that the driver charged them P2,000 from the airport to NLRC which is located just at the back of Philippine Statistics Office fronting the Baliwasan Central School. The distance is less than a kilometer. But coming to the city for the first time, they paid the demanded fare since the driver was already threatening them.

This is just one of the countless abuses committed by tricycle drivers and this has to be stopped. At the KCC Mall, my blood boils upon hearing tricycle drivers inquiring passengers where they are going and how much they will pay. If the drivers feel that the distance and the proposed fare does not come up to their personal standard rate, they won’t give the passenger a ride. They do this despite the very large warning painted and installed in the posts of the passengers’ waiting area—P4,000 penalty and cancellation of the tricycle franchise. This is also being done by these “vultures” waiting at the airport, our pier, and at the Puericulture Center.

The City Council took cognizant of this case but up to now, we haven’t heard about their formulated move to stop this. I almost fell of my seat when I heard one of its most stupid and extremely foolish idea of requiring the use of price meter installed in tricycles.

There‘s actually no need to find ways and means on how to determine the proper fare rate vis-a-vis the distance of the passengers’ destination. We already have a fare matrix that explicitly specifies the amount to be paid in relation to the corresponding distance and the number of passengers. What is needed, therefore, is the enforcement of this fare matrix which is not being done by our authorities. Ningas cogon lang, that’s why tricycle drivers don’t stop their abusive and illegal practice.

Why not the LTO and the City government post plainclothes traffic personnel at the airport, pier, Puericulture Center, and at the KCC Mall to apprehend drivers and impound their tricycles when they negotiate with the passengers their destinations and the fares they are going to pay. Implement this strictly and without mercy. This is the only way tricycles drivers can understand and obey laws and regulations.