Zambo tricycles tagged ‘vultures’
ZAMBOANGA CITY—A medical representative traveling from Zamboanga City International Airport to Ciudad Medical Center said she felt having been robbed after she was charged P150 by a tricycle driver for a trip that was not even a kilometer long.
Lorelie Aboleja, recounting her ordeal, said the tricycle driver, who had not been identified, initially wanted to charge her P200. “I haggled and still ended up paying P150,” she said.
Jofre Rasul, a political science faculty member at Western Mindanao State University (WMSU), said he, too, had the same experience with tricycle drivers here, describing them as “vultures on wheels.”
For the nearly one-kilometer distance from WMSU to Edwin Andrews Air Base, the driver demanded P40.
“I didn’t budge and we ended up in a heated argument,” Rasul said.
He reported the incident to the local police, which in turn forwarded the complaint to the Tricycle Adjudication Board (TAB).
Linda Mandi, of TAB, said the two cases are just among dozens of complaints referred to the board.
One is the case of a woman, who was charged P1,500 for a trip from the port to the bus terminal in the village of Guiwan.
“The poor woman, who had not enough cash, gave P500 but the driver also took her gold necklace,” she said.
Mandi said “we get reports, complaints of drivers taking advantage of their passengers almost every day.”
Mandi said the overcharging takes place even if each of the city’s 7,144 tricycles has a fare matrix displayed in their vehicles.
The regular fare, she said, is P20 for up to two passengers for the first kilometer.
“The charge is P5 for every succeeding kilometer, regardless of the number of passengers. A fare discount is applied to senior citizens, students and persons with disabilities,” she said.
In the case of Aboleja and Rasul, Mandi said the drivers should have charged them P20 each.
Mandi said TAB had coordinated with traffic enforcers and erring tricycle drivers had been penalized.
Renowned painter Rameer Tawasil said the city is becoming more and more notorious for having the most expensive tricycle ride in the country. Julie Alipala, Inquirer Mindanao
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