The Phnom Penh Municipality will send a warning letter to the owners of all taxi ports, threatening to take action against port owners who extort money from taxi drivers, a city official said on Tuesday.
The city will also require all taxi port owners to keep strict and accurate accounts of all money collected from taxi drivers at their ports, said Heng Vantha, municipal vice chief of Cabinet.
“If the owners don’t respect [the warning] and try to take fees over the [required fee], the municipality will take action,” Heng Vantha said.
The city’s warning comes after taxi drivers working from Phnom Penh through National Route 6A sent a formal complaint to the Phnom Penh municipality last week claiming that they are forced to pay bribes to use the Chroy Changva parking lot.
The 75 taxi drivers—who said they represent all taxi drivers working from Phnom Penh to the provinces of Siem Reap, Kompong Cham and Kompong Thom—allege that they are forced to pay upward of 5,000 riel (about $1.25) to park at the taxi port.
Under the city’s regulations for taxi port fees, minibuses are required to pay 3,000 riel (about $0.75) to park, cars are charged 1,500 riel (about $0.38) and trucks must pay 5,000 riel.
“I sent the complaint in order to suggest to both the municipality and municipal public works office to solve the problem between taxi drivers and the parking lot owners,” said Long Pouthorn, 42, who works the Phnom Penh to Kompong Thom taxi route.
Suy Sophan, director of the Phan Y Mech Co and owner of the Chroy Changva parking lot, denied ever taking unofficial fees from the drivers.
“I have never taken money from drivers,” Suy Sophan said.
Taxi drivers have complained about the Chroy Changva parking lot since mid-August, when the city banned taxis from entering city limits.
Under the city order, taxis coming into Phnom Penh from all provinces must stop at various taxi ports on the outskirts of the city and drop off their cargo and passengers.
The city instituted the order to cut down on traffic in the city and around the markets taxis frequented.