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The high cost of taxi medallions

An investigative report in Diario Libre published on Monday, 26 December 2016, focuses on the transport system controlled by cartels. The newspaper asks if the drivers are really employees who are being cheated out of their benefits.

Last week, the Superior Administrative Court (TSA) that rules on government compliance, ordered government institutions to do their job and stop allowing transport monopolies.

The report points out that the shared taxi and syndicated bus operators are best known for causing traffic jams and chaos on city streets and avenues while the authorities look the other way. The drivers, nevertheless, say they are mere pawns of groups organized in federations and associations that set the rules and exploit them and they have no way of complaining.

The drivers revealed the high sums they have to pay for the right to work (sort of medallion) on the routes monopolistically held by the federations and associations. Drivers speaking off the record put numbers to the high cost of working the routes.

For instance, the Los Alcarrizos-Duarte Highway Km 9 route costs RD$250,000 (paid in weekly quotas). In addition, they need to pay RD$500 for work day and RD$100 additional when passing the controls. A day’s work will produce RD$1,500 of which he says he needs to put aside around RD$800 for fuel.

The Esquina Caliente de Herrera-Av. Rómulo Betancourt-Parque Independencia route costs RD$800,000, paid in RD$800 weekly installments, RD$200 control stop. If they do not own a vehicle, then they pay RD$1,800 to drive an assigned vehicle.

The Av. Abraham Lincoln-Lope de Vega route (from San Cristóbal in Ensanche La Fe to Av. Independencia-Robert Reid Cabral Hospital costs RD$250,000, paid in weekly installments of RD$350 per day (green colors) or RD$280 (yellow colors) circulation next day. This adds up to RD$12,600 a month in right to drive on the route.

Passenger fares are RD$25-RD$50 on the routes.

Diario Libre reports that while the law establishes prerogatives for the Land Transport Office (OTTT) and AMET to approve and grant route permits and set fares, in the practice this is managed by the syndicates themselves.

Source: DR1, DiarioLibre

Dec 27, 2016

Category: DR News |

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Last updated December 17, 2017 at 1:23 AM
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