Plans to regularise ‘pirates’

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Minister for Public Works, Transport and Meteorological Services, Ro Filipe Tuisawau during break between sessions at the Parliament complex in Suva on Monday, Sep 11, 2023. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Minister for Public Works and Transport Ro Filipe Tuisawau says his ministry will look into regularising private vehicles as this would make private vehicles business legal, lawful and safe to the public.

While speaking in Parliament last week, Ro Filipe said public consultations were ongoing on the issue of private vehicles involved in illegal Public Service Vehicles (PSV) activities.

“The issue of illegal vehicles has been there for a very long time — 16 years,” he said.

“Currently we are going through, and you have also gone through the public consultation on that in which we are continuing and there is definitely a need to regularise.

“They are satisfying a certain sector of the public demand, but of course we need to put in place measures such as the standards, state of the vehicles, age and of course, the training of the drivers, the standards which they need to adhere to.”

Ro Filipe said there was a huge demand for private taxis from those operating from villages.

“Currently, when we look at the mix system, which is the base and the open, we will need to work out whether the base system needs to be adjusted to cater for those who are coming to drop but not to operate near those bases.

“Somehow, that needs to be rationalised to have that option and not to crowd out those who are based on the municipal bases.

“We might need to have two separate areas there but the urban or the town area the priority is those who have the bases there but not to deny the public the service if those who are at the base are not there, especially during busy periods, Christmas, even Fridays and paydays.

“That is something we are looking into.”

Ro Filipe also said his ministry would also monitor and put in place measures for drivers to abide by the code of behaviour on the roads.

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