21 September 2016

SOMETHING has been annoying me for a long time and it happens when I take a taxi from KLIA or KLIA2.

I’ve travelled through the airports of many countries but I have yet to see an “airport taxi” system like ours! Are they providing taxis to serve the public or to rip them off here?

It seems someone is trying to make “free” money from me as a passenger and also from the taxi drivers who provide the service. This year alone, I have taken about a dozen taxis from the airport. Here are my observations of what is going on and my related grievances.

1. Why do I have to go to a counter and pay RM2 for a coupon to get a taxi? In airports in other parts of the world, I would just walk out of the terminal and there would be a row of taxis waiting. Last month at Taoyuan Airport in Taipei, I saw a couple of airport personnel near the taxi area but they were there just to direct passengers to the cabs. There was no need to pay for any coupon. It was the same in Hong Kong and Singapore.

I don’t need to be a rocket scientist to deduce that someone must be getting the RM2 from me. The last straw, and which made me really upset with our airport taxi system, happened a few nights ago when the driver of the metered taxi I was in, R, told me he is also charged RM2 to pick up passengers! Whoever is collecting the RM2 from both the passenger and the taxi driver is indeed cruel as he is getting money for doing nothing for us.

The number 502 was printed on my coupon and the one which the taxi driver had. R said there were 502 metered taxis serving the airport route. We then calculated that with RM2 from each passenger and RM2 from each taxi driver, it worked out to more than RM2,000 per day that was collected from passengers and taxi drivers!

2. Airport taxi drivers often tell me that after dropping off a passenger, they are not allowed to pick up others on their drive back to KLIA/KLIA2. When the taxi arrived at my house at 11.45pm, I asked R whether he would be driving home after that. He told me no and that he would be driving back to the airport, sleep there and wait for the next customer. All the taxi drivers can say is: “What can we do? We just have to do as we are told to make a living.” I too can only say the same and with much frustration at such an unfair and ridiculous system. Why are we victims of such a system and why do we feel that we have to accept it? Can we scrap this nonsense and just let everyone take a taxi as is the practice in other airports throughout the world?

I would also like to know why it is so costly to take the train to the airport from Sentral Station. It is only worth taking if it is for one person travelling as it costs RM55 per person. It is cheaper for me to take a taxi to the airport from my house in Petaling Jaya if I were travelling with another person. Just Google and you will discover how much lower the cost is for trains and other modes of transportation to the airport in other major cities throughout the world.

LIM YOKE CHENG

Petaling Jaya

Original Source: www.thestar.com.my