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Macau Taxi Driver Shame group welcomes 5,000th member

Written by Ben Blaschke

The Macau Taxi Driver Shame Facebook group, which was formed last year to give locals a voice against Macau’s largely under-performing taxi industry, has reached a milestone after accepting its 5,000th member. The group is the official Facebook group of the Macau Taxi Passengers Association.

Thanks largely to its efforts, the MTPA has helped bring the dubious tactics of many drivers into the public consciousness with fishing prevalence – where drivers stop short of taxi ranks and only take passengers who agree to pay well above the metered fare – down from around 85 percent to around 10 percent.

This is despite a number of naysayers insisting Macau’s people were too lazy to make a difference. The government’s actions in upping the enforcement against taxis breaking the rules from 1 January this year has also made a big difference, however more than anything this is an excellent example of a local grass roots campaign achieving results.

President of the Macau Taxi Passengers Association Mr Andrew W Scott said, “I was so immensely proud and shocked at the reaction of the Macau public to the Macau Taxi Driver Shame (MTDS) Facebook group. We had 500 members in two days, 1,000 members in less than a month and here we are after a year with 5,000 members.

“Many people thought the initiative was a waste of time and that such a grass roots campaign wouldn’t work in Macau. But we made it clear that we were working with the government, not against them, and we were all absolutely delighted when the Macau government started intense enforcement against these so-called ‘rogue’ taxi drivers. MTDS cannot be described as anything other than an unmitigated success.”

Mr Scott insisted that the MTPA still has work to do and will be pushing for the recommendations which arose from the public consultation process in August and September to be implemented into law to cement the improvements.