Macau’s growing taxi problem has given rise to a name-and-shame Facebook page with more than 2,000 members sharing their horror stories, according to the South China Morning Post.
Andrew Scott, administrator of the Macau Taxi Driver Shame page, released a cabbie blacklist, with a “whitelist” featuring polite and fair drivers. The blacklist has 73 taxi plates; the whitelist has 15.
“I am hoping that we can force the bad guys out of the industry,” said Scott, who is in the process of forming an official association. “We are not an anti-taxi group. We want to work with the industry to fix the problem.”
In the first half of the year alone, the Macau transport bureau received 1,340 complaints and its inspectors reported 397 taxi offences. But only 169 offenders were fined.
A spokeswoman said 290 cases were still being processed; the remaining 1,278 cases had been closed. She said some complainants were unwilling to pursue their cases.
Scott said rude drivers, filthy taxis and poor driving skills were common complaints on his site, but “fishing” was the problem people were angriest about, where drivers refuse to accept customers who are not willing to pay up to 10 times the metered fare or who are not headed somewhere the driver wants to go.
The bus network is overloaded, a light rail project is not due to open until 2016, and there are just 1,180 taxis in a city of 641,500 – which has more than two million visitors a month.
nce has been increasing for sure. I started hearing about it two years ago, and it has got worse in the last six months.”
Macau Taxi Drivers Mutual Association chairman Tony Kuok Leong-son agreed the situation had deteriorated.
“There have been many arguments between passengers and drivers over how fees should be charged.”
He partly blamed “too many mainland tourists … who bargain over prices”. Macau played host to more than 18 million visitors between January and July, mostly mainlanders.
A new law in the pipeline would impose heavier penalties on cabbies and tougher surveillance, such as CCTV in taxis and undercover agents. The bureau currently has just five inspectors. Moreover, by December, Macau should have 200 new taxis.(macaunews/scmp)