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Another apartheid relic that's a pain in the you know what

By unknown | Aug 26, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

We were stranded at the Noord Street taxi rank for an hour last Thursday.

We were stranded at the Noord Street taxi rank for an hour last Thursday.

The rank has only one exit with two lanes that are used by up to a thousand taxis.

During peak hour the lanes into the city become solidly jammed. This means no taxis can leave, least of all those who caused the stoppage in the first place.

All the passengers were penned in in the taxis while the heat built up to unbearable levels. It was horrendous since there are taxis the windows of which do not open.

The windows are either a bad fit or the handles are broken. Only the driver's window, which remains open even during a storm, works.

We perspired as if we were in a sauna. Our body heat and heavy winter clothing made the temperatures rise further.

No one told us anything about the delay. We had stupidly paid the fares before the taxi left the terminus.

When the taxi failed to move we poor fools had to endure the discomfort.

We could not look for alternative transport since our moneywas already in the driver's pocket.

Customer service has improved in the taxi industry but there are times when it is overridden by other priorities.

The most important issue for owners is to protect their rights to a certain route. Too bad if this inconveniences the passengers.

I have complained before and blamed the Metro Police for not monitoring the exit. But the Johannesburg council is equally to blame for not solving the crisis.

The terminus needs more exits, especially for the Ekurhuleni taxis that rely on the kindness of Alexandra taxis that are nearer the exit.

This kindness evaporates during peak hour. The Alexandra taxi drivers are more concerned with ferrying their own passengers home.

It is dog eat dog situation

One wonders how long this situation will last before the drivers solve it in their typical manner.

If nothing is done soon the fallout will be tragic. The council must renovate this fascist architectural relic. The taxi ranks function efficiently during off peak hours when passenger volumes are lower.

We are a free people now. There is no need for structures that were built to isolate and pen us in.

The apartheid government built single exits to control the influx of blacks. It was easier to cow and intimidate us if we were holed up in a ghetto-like building.

A little imagination will hopefully solve the problem. The council should get rid of its old plans and ask progressive architects who are not mired in apartheid mentality to sort out the ranks.

Give the taxpayers some relief for a change. The popular saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

The Noord taxi ranks are a danger to passengers and taxi drivers. The council should sort them out before 2010.


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