Taxi app launched to ensure lockdown compliance
More stringent measures to ensure compliance with lockdown regulations in taxi ranks have been introduced.
The taxi reporting tool, an app meant 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 Rank yesterday, 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.
Other data include 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.”
Mamabolo said the big stick they had if no reporting was done at any rank was to deduct from the taxi rank manager and marshals’ stipends.
“The data must stream in from the ranks, and then we turn the data into useful information in the fight against Covid-19.”
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.
“The public which sees deviation, non-compliance, and negligence, can use call centres, and some even engage us on social media to report some of these issues.
“Some of these reinforcements came from the public, such as using taxi rank managers as a mechanism of control came from the public from the experience from level 5 and 4.”
Mamabolo said monitoring would be done by the taxi association leaders and government officials deployed to ranks.
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.
He said 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.
Malele said 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.
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.”
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