The NZ Transport Agency is warning Hamiltonians to be aware of unlicensed and potentially unsafe taxis operating in the city.
NZTA Access and Use Manager David Pearks said the agency was investigating several individuals in Hamilton operating an unlicensed passenger service under the name ‘Bro Rydz’. Mr Pearks said these drivers were not licensed to carry passengers or affiliated with any legitimate taxi company, nor do the vehicles have legally required Certificates of Fitness .
The unlicensed taxis advertise by word of mouth and cater mainly to students, under-cutting legitimate taxi services by offering $5 to $10 a ride.
Mr Pearks said the safety of passengers was the NZTA’s primary concern.
“NZTA is committed to regulating the taxi industry fairly to ensure the safety and security of passengers. These drivers have not undergone the police background checks which the law requires of all taxi and bus drivers, and they do not hold the appropriate licence to carry passengers.”
Mr Pearks also said that it was not acceptable to the NZTA that unlicensed operators are not meeting their fair share of the costs that legitimate taxi operators had to and were therefore in a position to undercut those who follow the rules.
Last weekend NZTA staff, in conjunction with NZ Police, caught two alleged illegal operators, oOne of the individuals had no driver licence and was driving an unwarranted car.
“Mr Pearks said the fact the drivers had not undergone police vetting was a particular concern for the NZTA. “For their own safety, people need to ensure they use legitimate taxi organisations which have been approved by the NZTA, and should not get into any vehicle that does not look like a legitimate taxi,” he said.
Mr Pearks said people should look for the following information to ensure a taxi service is properly licensed:
Mr Pearks said anyone with concerns about unlicensed taxis operating in the city should contact the NZTA’s Hamilton office on 07 958 7220, or any Police station.