Only in Davao CityBy Edwin Espejo Jan 07, 2011 8:08AM UTC
While drivers and operators of public utilities nationwide welcomed the decision of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board that raised the flag down rates of taxis in the Philippines, their counterparts in Davao City believed the additional rate, including the ensuing fares for every kilometer, is too excessive for passengers.
For the record, it is the first time this thing happened but is not entirely surprising.
Davao City boasts of the most passenger-friendly cab system in the country.
It is not uncommon for passengers to find their left baggage and valuables returned to their doors the same day.
In fact, taxi drivers in Davao City make it a point that a passenger receives his change to the last peso. And nobody will complain about negotiated fares. Except out of town trips, all trips within the city are strictly metered.
When taxis were re-introduced in the city in the early 90’s many people were reluctant to part with the minicas that pays P10 per ride within the central business district.
Slowly, however, it became a fact of life in the city. Davao City taxi companies then became the first throughout the country to install two-way radios on taxi fleets picking up passengers in the more efficient way and with passengers able to call the company for pick-up ride. Their counterparts in other cities were forced to follow suit several years later.
Davao City used to have black Mercedes Benz as taxis during the 60’s but was withdrawn after the car company reportedly complained their top of the line cars were being debased and cheapened.
Taxis disappeared in Davao City as well as other cities in Mindanao in the ‘70s and were replaced by PU minicas.
Mindanao’s rapid growth during the ‘80s however also gave rise to increase demand in public transport system.
A study in 1997 suggested Davao City’s road system cannot absorb more than 1,500 taxis. Back then, Davao City has a net increase of 7,000 new vehicle registrants every year.
Today, there are obviously more than 2,000 taxis in the city and more roads are now widened.
But still the same, Davao City is now experiencing what an urban metropolis is continually facing – traffic congestion.
But in Davao City, at least you do not have to worry about taxi drivers choosing which passengers to pick.
Have a good taxi ride when in Davao City.