A publicity campaign by Yangon Supervisory Committee for Motor Vehicles to register taxis has had some effect, though there is a long way to go until the city’s estimated 55,131 taxis are registered, said committee chair U Hla Aung.
In the month of January about 290 taxis registered, leading the committee – which is commonly known by its Myanmar acronym Ma Hta Tha – to begin speaking out about the need to register.
The first half of February saw nearly 500 taxis register – an improvement, but still only about 1 percent of the number of cabs thought to ply their trade in Yangon. There are currently about 2000 taxis registered with Ma Hta Tha since it took over the responsibility.
“We can say the number jumped because of the media,” said U Hla Aung.
On a per day basis, in January about 40 taxis were registering, though at present the figure is closer to 70.
Taxi drivers have complained they are forced to register their cabs with three different government authorities, and many have steered clear of Ma Hta Tha.
Ma Hta Tha took over its taxi-registering duties from YCDC on October, but U Hla Aung said many taxi owners and drivers thought they could get away without registering.
“As soon as the responsibility was transferred from YCDC to us, the rumour started spreading that taxis didn’t need to be registered on a city level,” he said. “I think the move made taxi drivers confused and they didn’t want to do it. They thought they had already registered at the Road Transport Administration Department and didn’t see any benefit from city taxi registration.
“Although the number is growing, there are still a lot of taxis left to register,” he said.
Not all the paper trail is in order, with many registered taxis not re-registering when ownership is transferred. Ma Hta Tha officials are currently checking its documents to figure out exactly which firms are registered.
U Hla Aung said passengers and the public will be able to benefit from more orderly control of taxis.
Source: Myanmar Times