Enough is enough

Very seldom do some of the worst stories related to the taxi services in Macau reach the media. Either because tourists and residents don’t have the time to pursue and prolong the agony or simply because the system here tends to protect a ‘service’ that everyone recognises is far from being good.
The story published by the Portuguese newspaper Hoje Macau this week of a citizen attacked by several taxi drivers after refusing to leave the taxi when he realised none of them stationed outside Galaxy Hotel in Taipa wanted to take the service is unacceptable. Revolting.
We all know cases of taxi drivers refusing to take customers, cases of drivers trying to rip off fares, especially when it is raining or during typhoons, and still there’s no apparent solution.
Authorities tend to protect taxi drivers. Better, they protect the owners of the taxi licences. We can only speculate why.
It is more than time to clean the sector up of all the drivers who cheat or disrespect - and especially those who are violent towards customers.
We can only blame the government for not solving this situation, once again perpetuating this ugly service that shames us all. And shames the good drivers – who thank goodness also exist – who need to live and work under the general perception everyone is bad when we are talking about their profession.
Fines are not enough. Drivers that are proven guilty of outrageous behaviour must be expelled from the job. Nothing else is acceptable. They should lose their licence if they own it. They should lose the job and the owner of the licence must pay a heavy fine and get a strong warning in case the driver works for a third party. No leniency.
Time is up. No more delays and excuses to clean up one of the sectors that has been a stain on Macau’s image, both locally as well as internationally.
For the sake of customers, the city and the drivers who scrupulously follow the code of conduct of their profession.