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Billing system must for taxis from January 1

Kathmandu, December 20, 2016: Come January 1, all taxis operating in Kathmandu Valley must start installing billing system on their vehicles.

In a public notice issued on Monday, the Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology (NBSM) has said different batches of taxis must install the billing system from the first day of 2017 till July 22.

“We have created different groups based on their registration numbers and issued them deadlines to install the billing system accordingly,” said NBSM Director General Bishwo Babu Pudasaini.

For instance, taxis with numbers Ba2Ja 3000 to Ba2Ja 3200 will have to install the printing system from January 1-7. Similar deadlines have been issued to other cabs based on their registration numbers.

The NBSM has said it would coordinate with the Traffic Police and take action against those who defy the NBSM notice.

The NBSM had introduced the billing system as a pilot project on December 5, making it mandatory for cabs renewing their metres to install the billing system.

Once the billing system is installed, passengers at the end of their journey will be given a receipt with details about the distance travelled, the fare and the registration number of the taxi. The billing is also expected to check cases of taxi drivers misbehaving with passengers or overcharging them by tampering with metres.

Cases of taxi drivers overcharging passengers are reported at locations such as hospitals, bus parks and airports where travellers have no choice but to hail a taxi. Cab drivers also capitalise on shortage of public vehicles during festivals and Nepal bandas. Pudasaini said the system would facilitate travellers to file complaints against such taxi as the receipt can be presented as evidence to concerned authorities. Likewise, the system will also enable the passengers to trace a cab in case they forget their belongings in the cabs.

There are around 10,000 taxis in Kathmandu Valley, according to the NBSM. Of them, an estimated 1,000 cabs have old metres, in which the new billing system cannot be installed. “We will assess the technical viability of replacing the old metres and provide them a deadline accordingly,” said Pudasaini.