Jul 6, 2008

[Metro] Taxis On Duty

Seal of the Metropolitan Manila Development Au...Image via WikipediaIn recent weeks, you may have noticed that local taxi cabs now feature "On Duty" and "Off Duty" signs on their windshields. I didn't notice it immediately myself but the sight of the little signs had me laughing inside.

It's not that I don't appreciate what the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has done. In fact, I'm definitely a major support of the initiative given I take taxis all the time in getting to and from work and of course getting around the city as well. If you've been in the city for any significant period of time, then you know there are instances when it's just insanely difficult to get a cab during peak hours or pretty much just when you need them the most. When you do manage to catch a cab, the driver is often looking for passengers of convenience and only want to take people on their route since they're on their way home and silly notions like that. Thus the signs now required by the MMDA seem to be a way to address that.

But really, isn't this a silly solution to the problem?

First, let's take things from the perspective of the driver in case your curious about that side of things:

Yeah, P1,000 may seem somewhat insignificant in the general sense, but if you were a cab driver trying to meet his "boundary" level with today's gas prices, then you know a fine like that can really eat into ones bottom line.

But seriously, why add these signs? As much as this may seem like a unique and innovative solution, it's a rather redundant one. Quite frankly, there's a reason why the taxi light on the top of the cab exists or why there's a "For Hire" indicator built into the meter system. In most other countries, the whole notion of "flagging down" a cab remains true to its origins since the lights and the For Hire signs are all supposed to perform the same function as those jury-rigged, homemade "On Duty" signs! Why we can't just employ the lights, which are a lot easier to see, is simply beyond me. I guess we've become too focused on using the tops of taxi cabs as advertising space as opposed to a more efficient way of identifying cabs that can be hired.

Oh well, at least it's a step in the right direction.
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  1. I think the MMDA seriously lacks Root Cause Analysis processes in their "problem solving system". Tsk.

  2. @meann

    MMDA? Root Cause Analysis? LOL

    I totally agree - they just skip this step and go straight to providing "solutions."

    Well, at least they're trying, so that has to count for something I suppose. =P