The Council of Ministers—which claims to be lobbying on behalf of taxi drivers against AZ Investment Co’s new toll fees on National Route 4—has also asked for a reduction of tolls for government officials.
In a Jan 14 letter, written by Council of Ministers Undersecretary of State Svay Sitha, the Cabinet also recommends allowing taxi drivers to avoid monthly vehicle inspections and to pack more customers into their cars to save money.
“The Ministry of Public Works must continue to discuss with the AZ company in order to reduce the cheapest price for [taxi drivers],” Svay Sitha wrote in the letter addressed to the Finance Ministry, the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation, and the governors of Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Kompong Speu.
“Related to the civil servants and armed forces who frequently travel the road, the company must also reduce to the cheapest price for them,” he added.
The letter orders the finance and transportation ministries to cease fining taxi drivers who fail to bring their cars in for a $2.50 monthly inspections. And it authorizes taxi drivers to carry four passengers in the backseat, one more than officially permitted.
“We will conduct a study later about its danger,” Leang Thunyothea, a general director at the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation, said Wednesday.
Protesting to have the $1.40 charge from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville reduced, taxi drivers blocked Route 4 on Jan 3 and Jan 4.
AZ General Manager Chuon Van Dorn said Wednesday that the company is waiting for a discussion with the transportation ministry before lowering tolls.