Taxi vehicle owners and taxi passengers in the Colombo district will both benefit from a new co-operative society that has been created to make life easier for vehicle owners and travelling less costly for taxi passengers.
The Colombo District Taxi Motor Car Owners Co-operative Society Ltd (TMCOC), which began operations last week and promises to charge the lowest taxi rates in the city, will offer taxi vehicle owners a variety of benefits, including loan schemes and other types of financial help.
TMCOC president R. D. Vipul Perera told The Sunday Times that vehicle owners who rent out their vehicles to Colombo cab services usually have big loans and leases to pay off, and have no protection in case of an emergency or a financial difficulty.
Mr. Perera said the TMCOC would also appeal to the government for help in the form of tax relief. He pointed out that the passenger-clients would also benefit, from lower cost charges, if TMCOC members could buy vehicles at a lower cost.
“We will provide interest-free loans, inexpensive spare parts and other facilities.”
By acting as a governing body for Colombo cab services, the co-operative society could help to control the pricing of taxi services. There are currently between 1,000 and 1,500 taxi vehicle owners in the Colombo district; 38 have so far registered with the TMCOC.
The TMCOC will also launch a new low-cost and convenient cab service, the “COOP Taxi”, which promises to offer the lowest taxi charges in Colombo. The COOP Taxis will operate from different points in Colombo, and will be available to anyone on the road who needs a ride. “There will be two COOP Taxis at every hospital 24 hours of the day to cater to people who are in a hurry and require affordable transport,” he said.
The project is expected to generate some 300 new jobs. About 100 drivers will be recruited.
TMCOC secretary D. A. De Zoysa said the co-operative was in the process of recruiting new members.
Applications for jobs with the TMCOC should be addressed to the TMCOC headquarters, currently located at The Co-operative House, 455 Galle Road, Colombo 3.