To ensure that passengers and taxi drivers comply with lockdown regulations in SA taxi ranks, an app called The taxi reporting tool has been launched. The new app is designed for taxi rank managers and marshals who have now been officially tasked with the job of tracking compliance from commuters and drivers will yield data meant to be analysed.
MEC for Transport, Jacob Mamabolo, speaking during the launch at the Bosman Street Taxi said the reporting tool received data collected by the marshals, such as whether the taxi was disinfected prior to loading, how many were disinfected, and if commuters sanitised before boarding. The monitoring would be done by the taxi association leaders and government officials deployed to ranks.
Other data includes mask enforcement by commuters and driver, adherence to the required social distancing, opening of windows to 5cm, and the loading capacity to not over 100%.“This data is checked for daily numbers of commuters. Officials have been deployed to areas. We have ranks in different coding in terms of reporting, and those that are in the red and amber receive attention to ensure they are green in terms of reporting and reduce those that are not,” said Mamabolo.
National Taxi Alliance Spokesperson, Theo Malele said they were elated that the government had come in to reinforce the management in the taxi industry to ensure all commuting masses were safe when using transport.”The marshals and managers would be trained and monitored to ensure the whole operation was above board, such as ensuring they adhered to what is required on the app, and there will be government officials to oversee that this happens as well as taxi industry co-ordinators to add support,” said Malele.
Malele emphasised that the driver carried a responsibility to ensure the taxi was disinfected, riders sanitised and ensure the windows were semi-ajar, and this would ensure there was accountability all around to ensure commuters and drivers were safe when commuting. He said the app would not be accessible to members of the public and commuters as it was meant for taxi rank managers and marshals to report on the activity.
Commuter, Maureen Peta said this calmed down commuters who were feeling unsettled, and showed some seriousness to ensure ranks and taxis were not areas of danger as they had to use them daily as numbers go up in infections, “It’s a good practice and should happen daily that way, we know that we are entering a clean taxi and there are serious steps to ensure that the virus is not spread while commuting,” she added.