BLAZING THOUGHTS: Overcharging! PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 13:48

BY Al Kenoh

For the past few months it has been observed that there are mounting complaints against tricycle drivers specifically on overcharging and arrogance.

Most of them are students and parents, ordinary workers, public and private including senior citizens who need to commute for their personal needs. They have similar gripe which is the exorbitant fare charged them. Sometimes the discord in the payment for the ride would lead to heated argument or even violent confrontation.

Several travellers with connecting trips in this city to their destination have harrowing experience with trike drivers on overcharging. Some of them have dashed to the police station to seek redress for what was done to them, but they left without coming back for the follow up. Unscrupulous drivers usually take advantage of the transients arriving at the bus terminal and wharf, also at the airport. Same is true with residents of nearby barangays stranded downtown late in the evening have no choice but to pay the excessive charge for home.

Councilor Biel III has assured that he’s working closely with the city’s Tricycle Adjudication Board to solve this problem once and for all. But until now we have not heard of any development yet.

According to news reports, the Traffic Division of the City Police Office has been conducting a campaign against colorum tricycles. That’s fine. Drivers of colorum tricycles are not afraid to violate the law because they have nothing to do with the government for the conveyance itself is unregistered.

We were informed that there are trike drivers who allow suspicious individuals to drive as sideline while they engage in gambling or drinking. This usually happens in the evening when some passengers were reportedly victimized, not only overcharged but sometimes robbed or mulcted. It would be appropriate if there will be some police operatives to check the license of these dubious part-time drivers.

Nevertheless, we’ve a different situation here in Zamboanga City. Most passengers want to be alone inside the sidecar if not together with family members or friends. Unlike in Basilan, the tricycles can pick up passengers along the way until fully loaded.

Tricycles are supposed to be the public conveyance inside a subdivision. But here we have no subdivision within the city proper. Also we don’t have taxi here.

In fairness, we need the tricycles as a means of transportation in commuting short distances for our daily needs. Hence, considered as the poor man’s taxi, verbatim or otherwise.

Just revise a little the rules pertaining to tricycle operation to come up with a much better result and get rid of what’s annoying us— overcharging!