Metered taxi system launched
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE Ministry of Communications launched the metered taxi system yesterday and announced plans to provide infrastructure such as taxi stands in strategic areas and a cab-hailing IT solution.
Minister of Communications Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Hj Mustappa Hj Sirat said construction of new taxi stands and the provision of an IT system are needed to boost greater connectivity between drivers and passengers.
The IT system refers to a mobile app that allows passengers to contact licensed taxi operators for hire via mobile gadgets.
“This is still in the process,” he told media at the launch of metered taxi system at the Brunei International Airport. “The Land Transport Department (LTD) is now talking to a number of service providers, eventually all of these will be tendered out.”
YB Dato Hj Mustappa said the ministry is looking at setting up taxi stands around the vicinity of Bandar Seri Begawan and other commercial centres.
Land Transport Department (LTD) Director Dr Hj Supry Hj Ladi said that based on their observations, there are currently at least five taxi stands in the country.
There are two taxi stands in Brunei-Muara, one in Tutong town, one in Seria and one in Kuala Belait, he said.
“For now, we are looking to add two more taxi stands in Bandar Seri Begawan, one outside the Brunei Malay Teachers Association (PGGMB) building and another outside the main entrance of Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex (Yayasan Complex),” he said.
Dr Hj Supry, who chairs the Motor Transport Licensing Authority (MTLA), said there are also plans to set up a taxi stand around The Mall in Gadong, at the Kiulap commercial area, at the Times Square or Airport Mall area and a few more around commercial areas in Brunei-Muara.
“We have three points (Yayasan Complex, PGGMB building and The Mall Gadong) confirmed and (we are) in the process of preparing them with signage and information on taxis,” he said.
Dr Hj Supry said they have also discussed with hotels to provide taxi waiting points for alighting passengers or hotel guests.
“We shared with them the metered fare structure and the contact numbers for all licensed taxis should their guests require this legal taxi service,” he said.
YB Dato Hj Mustappa also spoke on the improvements planned for the country’s bus system.
The minister said buses must be connected and reliable in terms of scheduling.
“Bus routes must also cover commercial areas, educational institutions, hospitals, government ministries and department, hotels and embassies with consistent schedule,” he said.
The minister said the issue of whether there is a need for dedicated bus lanes, traffic regulation where buses are given priority and addressing issue of traffic jams to ensure a smooth flow of buses is something that they have to think over time.
“We are already talking with the Ministry of Development to look at areas where we need dedicated bus (services). In areas where we cannot provide (these) because of traffic jams, then we (will) tackle the traffic jam issue,” he said.
“All these have to be (tackled) step by step. This is an ongoing process. We have to make sure that everybody subscribes to the principle of connectivity, reliability, and of course safety,” he added.
The Brunei Times