OVERLOADING: A PHOENIX CRISIS
By: Pamella Magwaza
Travelling conditions become worse for Phoenix passengers as taxi drivers make them sit on buckets in overloaded taxis.
The Phoenix Taxi Association which has had passengers complaining about various travelling conditions over the years have now moved to the next level by making passengers sit on buckets tied in place with a seat belt.
Tania Chetty, a regular passenger said, “It is really an uncomfortable ride home because they try to fit in too many people in one load and end up making us feel squashed and the buckets are just degrading but there’s no other way to go home.”
Another regular passenger Matthew Moorgas said that some taxis are not mechanically fit for the road thus endangering lives of passengers.
“They make us sit on those buckets that can easily tumble over when the taxi turns and if we don’t want to sit on the bucket they start a fight with us and that is not okay,” added Moorgas.
The taxis which are notorious for their colorful exterior, speeding and extremely loud music have history of not heeding to the cries of the passengers.
Taxi Driver Courage Mthembu said that passengers ask for the buckets because they want to get into the taxi even when it is full, they even have a name for these buckets now.
“I have a yellow and a brown bucket and they ask for it even when the taxi is full and I say okay because that means extra money for me,” added Mthembu.
Taxi conductors are usually the ones who fill up the taxis for the drivers and are responsible for making sure the driver has enough money at the end of his shift.
Taxi Rank Manager for over 10 years, Chris Govender said, “We as rank managers do not allow overloading at all, but what the drivers do is pick people up along the way after they have left the rank.”
“We do have rules in place to keep them from doing this but we can only keep a watch to an extent,” he added.