‘Step taxi’ on the rise

Taxis at the Suva Market Taxi Stand. Picture: RAMA/FT FILE

Fare dodgers are on the rise and cabbies claim middle-aged women are the biggest “step taxi” perpetrators in the land.

Taxidrivers also say that those absconding without paying their fare are doing it for taxi meter fare as low as $3.

Cabbies claim rising unemployment could be the reason more and more people are catching a taxi with no intention of paying.

Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre co-ordinator Shamima Ali said the issue of women evading taxi fare payments should be looked at with compassion because it was the result of the economic impact of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, according to the United Nations (UN) Pacific Socio-Economic Impact Assessment report of COVID-19 in Fiji, the pre-COVID-19 poverty rate in Fiji in 2020 stood at 24.2 per cent, with a total of 210,963 people living in poverty.

The report stated the poverty rate stood at 16.76 per cent (73,153 people) in urban areas and at 31.9 per cent (138,737 people) in rural areas which showed a large difference in poverty according to geographic location.

The report stated should the economy recover at the end of this year, the national poverty rate would stand at 25.45 per cent.

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