The freeze on taxi permits was lifted on January 1, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) confirmed yesterday.
The lifting of the ban formalises an announcement in the 2017/2018 National Budget Address by the Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, who revealed back then that the lifting of the freeze on taxi, minibus and carrier permits would be effected on January 1, 2018.
But LTA board chairman Vijay Maharaj said yesterday the application forms for the permits were not ready for distribution to the general public just yet.
And he said not every applicant vying for a permit will be privy to being granted one as there were plans to allocate these on a zonal basis.
The permits will be distributed first to 13 zones which the LTA had identified as “having high taxi demand’’, Mr Maharaj said.
Mr Maharaj said from the 13 zones there will be a certain quota allocated to members of the public, depending on the population density and demand in that particular area.
“Today, we have identified the zones and the demand of the taxi permits which will be advertised in the papers very soon,” Mr Maharaj said.
“We will be calling for applicants in those zone areas who can apply for the taxi permits.
“We will first start the process with the Northern Division, Western and then Central Division for the members of the public to apply.”
A notice posted outside the LTA headquarters door in Valelevu, Nasinu said: “Please be advised that applications will be received once the CEO advertises the quota available for each transport zone. The advertisement will be published in the Fiji Sun. Any inconvenience caused is highly regretted.”
Applicants need to meet certain criteria, including:
Annual income of $20,000 or less
They should not already own a taxi permit or a taxi, minibus or carrier business.
13 zones identified:
Suva; Nausori; Lami; Nadi; Lautoka; Ba; Rakiraki; Korovou; Labasa; Savusavu; Ovalau; Taveuni; and Macuata.