Let travellers arrange their own taxis after dark

Monday December 28, 2009

I REFER to the letter from Susai Anthony Muthu "Unwelcome sight for visitors" (Sunday Star, Dec 6).

I appreciate the Road Transport Department's (JPJ) efforts to eradicate touting and illegal taxi operations at KLIA and LCCT by banning outstation taxis and setting roadblocks. However, I wonder if JPJ realises that such a policy actually puts the lives of female passengers at risk.

I write from a recent personal experience. In the past, I did not need to worry about going home from the airport, be it at night or in the wee hours of the morning, as I always had my regular and trusted hometown taxi driver waiting for me.

Last week, I had no choice but to take an LCCT taxi back to Seremban at 2.30am, as my hometown taxi driver dared not take the risk of being caught by JPJ. There were four of us (all ladies), three in one taxi and the fourth in another taxi.

Before boarding, we took down the plate numbers of the taxis. Our driver did not take the highway but took us through lonely pitch-dark roads and past oil palm plantations.

It was the most terrifying trip we had ever made as wild thoughts raced through our minds. What if the taxi driver decided to stop in the middle of nowhere?

Three ladies would be no match for any untoward incidents that might befall us!

Meanwhile, we made several calls to our friend in the other taxi as we were also worried for her safety. Later, we learnt that she had a similar nerve-wracking experience, which was worse as she was alone in the taxi.

Her taxi driver seemed to have problems with the vehicle and made several abrupt stops. At one point, he even drove into a deserted road in a village.

Thank God we reached home in one piece. But there is always a possibility that we might not be so lucky the next time.

After this experience, we vowed never to take any taxi from KLIA or LCCT between 6pm and 6am. Unless JPJ is able to guarantee the safety of taxi passengers, we would rather spend the night at the airport and take a bus home the next day.

I hope that JPJ will reconsider its policy and allow travellers, especially ladies, to arrange their own hometown taxis after dark.

TERRIFIED,

Seremban.

This article is a verbatim copy of the original article from The Star.