Hanoi Department of Transport has proposed that city authorities halt the granting of business licences to taxi companies as of March to tighten their operations in the city.

The move was made after a series of traffic violations, fraudulent taxi fares and abuse and assaults of officials by taxi drivers.

Deputy director of the department Nguyen Hoang Linh said that a lot of problems had risen from the massive growth in taxi firms.
“The transport infrastructure just is not developed enough. A shortage of parking space and narrow roads have caused traffic jams in many localities during peak hours,” Linh said.

“Many taxi firms have paid little attention to training drivers. As a result, many taxis scramble for clients, speed or park cars in prohibited areas, and have been involved in confrontations with traffic police,” he added.

According to him, at least five confrontations between taxi drivers and officials occurred last year. The incidents included taxi drivers attempting to run traffic police over and threats made with dangerous items.

Thousands of cases of traffic violations and collection of passengers at unauthorised pick up points were reported.

Linh said the department would stop granting licences for newly-established taxi companies. Enterprises whose licences have expired but have no violations against them would be re-granted licences to continue business, but those with poor records or involved in confrontations with the police would have their licences revoked.

The department would conduct regular inspections to insure the implementation of the decision, Linh said.

Currently, the department was building a management plan for passenger transportation services provided by taxis in Hanoi in the 2010-15 period with a vision to 2030, he said.

Reports from the department show that Hanoi has 109 taxi firms with more than 12,100 operational taxis. The capital has the second highest number of taxis in the country, but ranked first for the number of incidents involving taxis./.