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Monopoly at airports resulting in inefficiency

Thursday May 21, 2009

I REFER to the report LCCT-KL cab rides to cost more (The Star, May 19). As a frequent traveller using both the KLIA and LCCT, I find that taxi rides should not cost more for two reasons.

Firstly, only one company is allowed to operate from each terminal. The monopoly does not create efficiency and effectiveness, and travellers are often at their mercy.

For instance in KLIA, I once had to wait 10 minutes for a taxi. When I asked the driver the reason for the delay, he told me that as it was a Monday, all taxi drivers must report to the head office to file in their reports, hence the lack of taxis.

Secondly, why must a taxi be kept empty for the return journey? This is a waste of resources, not forgetting the unnecessary contribution to pollution and global warming.

Taxis should be allowed to pick up passengers both ways so that a traveller does not need to pay for the return journey and the cost is cut down by, logically, half.

Furthermore, it can get rid of the touts because there is now a legitimate alternative public taxi service. This will further improve services to travellers and the airport limousine service is compelled to improve its services and compete in efficiency.

To implement this, pick-up points should be set up in various parts of the city only for airport taxis once they have delivered their passenger home. The airport taxis then have the choice of either going to the pick-up points or returning to the airport.

Create another pick-up point at the airport for normal/public taxis perhaps some short distance away from the airport terminal.

This gives the traveller a choice whether he wants to walk the distance and take his chance on the availability of a public taxi or the airport taxi/limousine which is readily available at the airport terminal itself.

Competition is good as it creates an environment for improvement. Besides, giving the passenger a choice, the taxi companies and drivers stand to gain more because now fares are collected both ways.

Petaling Jaya.

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

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