Bali taxi wars flare again

Saturday, 10 Jun, 2010 0

Bali’s taxi wars have flared again with a violent protest involving hundreds of taxi drivers that damaged cars and injured two TV journalists on Monday.

Local media reported that drivers from the Bali Tourism Service Association (PJWB) went on a rampage in Denpasar, damaging vehicles belonging to the Blue Bird taxi company.

The PJWB accuses Blue Bird of exceeding the agreed quota of taxis and of unfairly entering the Bali market.

The Jakarta Globe says Blue Bird is known for its high service standards and security. Many passengers opt to use it because of its reputation for reliability, and because customers are urged to report any problems to the company.

“The local associations, in contrast, are sometimes accused of unfair pricing and coercion. Local taxis are often more expensive than Blue Bird,” said the Globe.

PJWB chairman Gusti Made Oka Sukranita said that the company had agreed to limit its taxis to 600 “but now the Blue Bird fleet numbers 750″.

A Blue Bird driver, Made Wijana, said he had been taking two Australian passengers from Sanur to Kuta when he encountered the chaos.

“When we passed by Makro supermarket, there was a crowd of protesters driving their taxis. They approached my car and threw a stone at the back window,” Wijana said, adding that the protesters had also forced his passengers out.

“My passengers were shocked, they later took shelter at a nearby stall,” he told the Jakarta Post.

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Ian Jarrett

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