A party-list congressman has warned the riding public against ‘turbo timers’ on taxis.
Complaints reaching Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles’ office showed that some taxis have unusually fast timers in their fare meters, which directly affect the P2-per-minute running travel fee charged to riders.
The running charge—similar to the one imposed by Grab drivers—was among the new features of the meters that current taxi have following the mass recalibration that was implemented over a year ago. The recalibration coincided with the hike in cab fare.
“One of the reports said that a 15-second lapse in real time gets reflected as a 30-second lapse on the taxi meter. This means that the timer on these flawed or purposely modified meters run twice as fast as they should,” Nograles said.
Under such a meter, a 30-minute ride that should cost P60, excluding the per kilometer charge ends up costing P120, or double. That is a significant uptick considering the usual traffic jams in the metropolis which prolong travel time, he said.
“This is the new style of ‘batingting’ that the LTFRB should guard against. I urge passengers of taxis to be observant and call the attention of the driver if they notice these so-called turbo timers. Matinding panloloko yan,” Nograles said.
One complainant described such meters as “parang tubo ng tubig na may tagas, tuloy-tuloy ang buhos.”
Nograles said such modus may become more prevalent during the holiday months of November and December.
It was around August 2018 when taxis converted to the new fare scheme, wherein the new distance rate of P13.50 per kilometer was imposed on top of the running travel fee.
Under the old meter, increments of P3.50 was charged for every 300 meters (equivalent to around P11 per kilometer).
“Based on my own experience, the new fare meter has added anywhere from P60 to P80 on my final fare compared to the old meter. So these turbo timers really add insult to injury,” Nograles said.