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Association asks for cuts in number of taxi cabs

Date Posted: 2010-02-04

There are more than 3,600 taxi cabs operating in mainland Okinawa, and the Okinawa Prefecture Taxi and Rental Car Association is appealing to the government to slash the number by 20%

The Okinawa Prefecture Taxi and Rental Car Association’s Hirotaka Matsuyama says “as a result of relaxing laws and regulations governing licensing of taxis, the number of taxis has increased dramatically and now there are too many taxicabs in mainland Okinawa.” He’s asking the prefecture to “reduce the number of taxis and make improvements in taxi driver manners and service.”

Matsuyama’s recommendation is meeting with complaints from taxi drivers and companies, who say such a cutback would create a large number of un employed drivers. With the economic downturn still affecting Okinawa, they say reducing taxi numbers is not a good idea.

The Okinawa Prefecture General Bureau received the request last week. A committee established a year ago to determine a fair taxi system indicated mainland Okinawa should have fewer than 2,750~2,980 taxicabs. There are currently more than 3,600 registered in operation, and the Taxi Association has sent paperwork to the Prefecture General Bureau asking for reductions, a total of about 650 cabs. Taxi companies say they’re operations are already down to 83% and a further reduction in taxi cab numbers would be damaging.


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