Editorial: Bumpcar drivers don’t have a place in our city

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Saturday, August 23, 2014


ROAD rage like never before, two taxi drivers hitting each other using their cars. That says a lot about the rage, and the level of intelligence. But that is not the point here.

Dabawenyos are very proud of their city, and would almost always chirp up, “Mababait ang mga taxi drivers namin, pati piso na change sinosoli (We have very good taxi drivers, they will give you your change to the last peso.”

Guess what?

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In our daily taxi rides, it has become apparent that there are more and more taxi drivers who are not from Davao and do not quite know what public conveyance really means. They don’t even know where the major streets are. It’s okay if a taxi driver is not quite sure where Nidea Street is, but if he doesn’t know where Jacinto, Villa Abrille, Monteverde, and other major thoroughfares, it is obvious that they have not done their assignment on being a taxi driver. For every taxi driver in town, there are at least five new ones who are there with nothing in mind but to earn their day’s keep, nothing about service. There are even times when drivers make you feel that they are giving you a favor for allowing you to ride in their cars.

Of late, too, we have noticed that there are very few taxis that still have the identification cards. The initiative before has already been forgotten, and the public are exposed to dangers of not knowing who your taxi driver is.

The influx of people, new drivers included, is expected. We’re a fast growing city, and there will be thousands upon thousands who will be coming over to find greener pastures. Reckless drivers and rogue taxi drivers included.

True, taxi drivers in Metro Manila is a hit-and-miss thing. You either get a rare good one; land with the argumentative one and still you can count yourself lucky; or worst, be with someone who’s hanging out with the bad guys all set to skin you alive.

But is this the public transport we want for our city?

Definitely not. Thus, while there are just the two brainless drivers all so willing to destroy their employers’ vehicles just to let off steam, we should make sure that there are but the two of them and that these two will never be able to drive a public transport ever again. This can be achieved if we revive what has been started – make sure each taxi driver attends the basic driving and road courtesy seminar that comes with a reminder of what service is expected of them before being given an identification card that will thus allow them to ply the city roads and ferry the riding public. In this way, the colorum taxis will likewise be removed from the streets.

The sooner we do this, and the more regular we do this, the safer our roads and taxis will be for our people.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 23, 2014.

Opinion

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