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Okinawa taxis get new rules

Date Posted: 2002-12-07

The Okinawa Prefecture General Bureau Transportation Section issued new rules to improve taxi service in the prefecture, Tuesday. The new rules are aimed at improving customer service after several complaints from the public that taxis have refused customers who request only a short ride. They also establish new ways for customers to report drivers who are rude.

The rules also clarify the status of the small vans some unregulated operators use as de facto taxi service, limiting them to cargo transportation. These small vans have long been a needle under taxi companies’ skin. Seven largest taxi companies in Okinawa have already agreed to the new rules that will take effect Friday. The companies are also requesting that prefecture and municipal offices use taxis instead of their official black limos. They point out that the municipalities would actually save money by using taxis.

Another piece of business taxi companies are eyeing is so called “Daiko,” companies that provide substitute drivers who will drive the customer’s car home after a “wet” evening in town. Taxi companies would like very much to take over their business.

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