BY JOAN BAILEY
Lae taxi owners and drivers have expressed concern over delays in obtaining T-plates for their taxis from the Morobe Lands Transport Board (MLTB).
The owners and drivers said all the proper processes to register their taxis to provide service in Lae City have been followed, but they are still waiting for the white plate number to be replaced with a taxi plate number.
Ricky Kaip said he was providing tax services to clients throughout this year using a white plate and not a T-plate.
He said it was not his fault as all the requirements to operate a taxi service were met and he paid K1500 to register his taxi.
“So, I provide my taxi service while waiting to have my taxi plate number.
It is unfortunate for me and my other taxi suppliers to have to pay fines of 300K or more for not having a T-plate.”
Island Taxi Services owner Joseph Ting said he had two taxis providing services using white plates and not T-plates.
He said it has been almost a year now and the delay is causing them unnecessary expense in their daily operations.
He said officers had charged him five times this year for not having T-plates, but he continued to operate because MLTB had not yet issued him with T-plate numbers for his taxis.
“I have already paid 2,000K to 3,000K in fines and I pay fines for white plate and license charges which cost 350K or more for each fine,” Mr. Ting said.
“It’s very frustrating as we sweat to earn this income all day and for them to complain to us despite following the proper process to get our taxis registered and meet operating requirements.”
Ting said responsible authorities involved in approving service provision should do their job transparently and honestly.
Another taxi driver, Joe Andrew, said he bought his taxi this year using the BSP SME Loan and started operating, but was still waiting for his T-plate.
He said he needed to earn some money to repay the loan and he called on MLTB to speed up the process and issue their T-plates quickly.