Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A(H1N1): Four more deaths, TOTAL 12

4:40 AM by Afzairulzailey · 0 comments

he Influenza A(H1N1) virus claimed four more lives, bringing the total number of fatalities in Malaysia to 12. The first three were a three-year-old, a 12-year-old and a 20-year old who all died at the Malacca Hospital on Aug 3, while the fourth was a six-year-old boy who died at 2.30am Wednesday at the Batu Pahat Hospital. The Health Minister warns that the haze will make matters worse.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Taxi meters not re-calibrated, so it’s the old rates for now

5:28 PM by Afzairulzailey · 0 comments

KUALA LUMPUR: The new rates for taxi fares started yesterday — but the 21,000 cabbies in the Klang Valley cannot charge the revised fares until they have re-calibrated their meters.

The changeover for the entire fleet of taxis in the area could take more than two months as there are only six main taxi meter supply centres, said Federal Territory and Selangor taxi operators association president Datuk Aslah Abdullah.

“Only pay what is stated on the meter. If the meter hasn’t been adjusted to the new rate, then the customer pays the old rate.

“The only problem is, customers will probably be confused during this adjustment period as some taxis will be charging the old rates, while others charge the new rates,” he said when contacted.

The Government announced that from Aug 1, taxi fares would start off with RM3 instead of the previous flag-off rate of RM2, and subsequently increase 10 sen each 115m instead of 150m before.

During traffic jams, the meter would clock 10 sen for every 21 seconds instead of 45 seconds.

Aslah said with the new rates, customers could expect to pay about 30% more in fares.

“If a customer feels the fare is too high, please don’t quarrel with the taxi driver. Ask for a receipt and make a complaint. The receipt has details of the taxi number, mileage, fare, as well as the telephone numbers of the taxi company and the Commercial Vehicle and Licensing Board,” he said.

He expected a 30% drop in the number of customers in the first few months following the fare increase.

Aslah said taxi drivers are required to send their vehicles to Puspakom to have the meters inspected within a week after re-calibration.

On the first day of the fare increase yesterday, many taxis waited from early morning at the meter re-calibration centres.

Teoh Cheng Lim said he gave up and decided to have his taxi meter re-calibrated another day after waiting for a long time at a centre in Cheras Mahkota.

The re-calibration process takes an average of 30 minutes for each taxi.

Under the previous rate, a taxi ride from Section 16 here to Glenmarie cost RM15 (including the RM2 for the call and 50 sen for toll).

The return ride from Glenmarie to Section 16, using a taxi with a re-calibrated meter, cost RM21.30 (excluding RM2 for the call).

However, the driver used a longer route on the return trip and there was a jam, which partly explained the more than 30% difference in fare to the same destination.

Taxi drivers to KLIA tend to charge either a flat rate, or the meter fare inclusive of RM12 surcharge and the toll rates.

Most taxies in the Klang Valley have converted to natural gas vehicles and pay 68 sen per litre for gas.