Monday, September 25, 2017

Confusion over taxi registration process

Maybe it was just an April Fool’s Day story after all. Critics who scoffed at the idea, announced last March, that Yangon bus service regulator Ma Hta Tha was taking over control of the city’s taxis from YCDC scoffed, apparently, correctly.

A taxi driver stands next to his car outside a hotel in Yangon. Photo: ArchiveA taxi driver stands next to his car outside a hotel in Yangon. Photo: Archive

Two months on, no action has been taken to effect the transfer of authority, Ma Hta Tha secretary U Ba Myint said last week.

“There is no change in the taxi registration system. Yangon City Development Committee is not saying anything, so we are not doing anything. The situation is in limbo. YCDC said they would carry on as before. We will help them as much as we can,” said U Ba Myint.

Ma Hta Tha is the Myanmar-language acronym for the Supervisory Committee for Motor Vehicles.

In March, Yangon’s central Ma Hta Tha body announced that it would take over processing taxi registrations from April 1, which prompted sceptical comments to the effect that Ma Hta Tha should start properly regulating bus services before they take on Yangon’s taxi fleet. But what is being called the delay in carrying out the transfer is not related to those concerns, said YCDC official U Nyi Nyi Oo. However, he could offer no other reason.

“It’s not as if the transfer to Ma Hta Tha will never take place. I think higher-level people are still finalising the plans.”

He said no reason had been given for the hold-up. “A legal directive will come out,” he said.

As of December there were about 24,000 registered taxis in Yangon, government figures show.