Market for Taxi Cabs in Windhoek, Namibia

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1. Chapter 1
This paper presents the research proposal of ‘The market for taxi cabs in Windhoek, Namibia. The growing population and urbanization mark the existence of taxi services in Namibia and the industry is booming. Taxi services are concentrated not only in Windhoek but can be found in most urban towns like Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Oshakati. This will be discovered by means of questionnaires to taxi drivers and their clients. This chapter includes; introduction, literature review, the research question that guide this study, the questionnaire together with other studies found or presented in this research proposal. 1.2 INTRODUCTION

The Namibian transport sector is divided into three main components namely; 1)The operators.
2)The infrastructure.
3)The government functions.
My main focus is in the operators which provide bus, taxi, railway, air transport and shipping services. Trans Namib, which is a state enterprise, operates the Namibian railway system which provides transport system for goods, livestock and passengers between towns of Namibia but not within urban areas. There are a number of bus operators offering scheduled services between towns and some to school and universities. There are also tour operators and the bus services of the Windhoek municipality. Most bus operators are involved in inter-urban and long distance scheduled services including from, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe just to mention a few offer services mostly for tourists and groups. Taxi rides are regarded as public transport in Windhoek as it is a transport mode in which passengers do not travel in their own vehicles they therefore offer more services to residents and favor short distance to make a profit within a short period of time. Regulations often concentrate on fares and franchises to control routs and entry of taxi rides. In the struggle for competition due to vehicle increase, by observation there are a lot of vehicles dominating the city of Windhoek as profitability attracts individuals, the taxi market gets flooded. The structure which has a link with taxi operators is the Namibian Bus and Taxi Association commonly known as NABTA. This body is autonomous with its own rules and regulations. It heavily relies on the cooperation of taxi owners and registration with this body is to regulate the relationship between the taxis and government and that between taxis and the general public being the customers to this service. Secondly it is the negotiating body which ensures that fair prices are charged and people are not overcharged. Several market failure analysts’ would see it right to enforce some forms of price control and entry regulations in the taxi market. As it is largely known that a qualified taxi driver must have a license and a suitable vehicle to travel the roads of Windhoek. History shows that very often the taxi regulations get captured by taxi operators as a large number of them would tend to influence legislators and fail to adapt their regulations to change the market conditions. Hence, they tend to face difficulty and hardship in controlling the taxi industry. According to The Namibian Newspaper (6/11/2011: 6), states various laws being imposed on the industry have a negative impact on drivers and owners. The author, Nongame’s, greatest concern was the ignorance of taxi drivers and owners to group themselves and come up with a committee that will work hand in hand with The Namibian Bus and Taxi Association (Nabta) so as to cooperate and work as a team. A closely related mode of transport is the Privately Hired Vehicle but more expensive to that of the taxi, of which attention should also be drawn to it. Privately Hired Vehicles enjoy the monopoly over the telephone booking and private mobility to airport which are of high demand looking at the conformability. On the other hand taxis or cabs as most people describe them enjoy complete monopoly over both the street hail market...
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