English | Dzongkha Saturday, June 23, 2018

Could TOP mean end of livelihood for some Taxi Drivers?

Yeshi Gyeltshen, Paro
Feb 11, 2016

Could TOP mean end of livelihood for some Taxi DriversTaxi Drivers in Paro say the Road Safety Transport Authority’s new rule of Taxi Operating Permit could mean the end of their livelihood. RSTA’s rule doesn’t allow those who drive hired cabs to avail Taxi Operating Permit (TOP). Most of the 300 taxis operating in the dzongkhag are on hire.

The drivers will not be allowed to operate if they do not register for the Taxi Operating Permit by the end of this month. But, the rule allows them to drive the taxis until the end of its operating period in case they do not want to register to the TOP.

A Taxi Tshogpa, Namgay said most cabbies in Paro would be ineligible for the TOP since about 60 percent of them drive cabs on hire. “I enquired about this at the base office but they told me they do not know.”

Also the others, who own taxis, said RSTA’s rule which does not allow them to operate in Thimphu and Phuentshogling is causing a strain in their income. They say ferrying tourists to Thimphu for sight-seeing is a big part of their income.

Namgay said some of the tourists ask the taxi drives in Paro to drive around to Thimphu, Punakha, Wangdue Phodrang and Bumthang. “The new rule does not allow us to make earnings.”

RSTA shared the rule was put in place to decongest traffic in Thimphu and Phuentshogling

RSTA also shared a strict monitoring system and penalty amount for breaking the new rules will be decided after the TOP registration finishes this month.


1 Comment for “Could TOP mean end of livelihood for some Taxi Drivers?”

  1. Peldup

    If I hire a taxi from Paro to directly take me to Buddha Point, it means technically they are breaking rules. It is also burden to us passengers as we have to change to local taxis.

    Besides, how will they know if they are transporting family and relatives for free or passengers are not relatives if taxi of paro were to drive within Thimphu. Consider me as taxi driver and I came to Thimphu. I stay with my brothers and sisters, am I to refuse them when they ask me to reach them to office?
    Is RSTA controlling taxi or taxi owners controlling taxi.
    Today, RSTA will say taxis registered in Punakha will be not allowed to operate in Thimphu. Tomorrow, land commission might say, citizen whose census are in Punakha can’t buy land in Thimphu.
    Are improving viable economy or curtailing economic freedom. Will such thing really decongest Thimphu. Isn’t rich people owning more than five or six cars contributing to congestion?

    I thought we are democratic nation with freedom to move around and take our movable property with us or use it wherever we go. It seems we are not.

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