Taxi driver hopes authorities address Covid-19 situation


A TAXI driver in Port Moresby says he is being patient waiting out the lockdown and hopes authorities can address the Covid-19 situation during the period.
John Blackie, 47, from Western Highlands has been in the PMV (public motor vehicle) and taxi business for 20 years in the city.
He said it was fortunate that taxis were still operating but that did not mean there were more customers.
Blackie said on the first day of the lockdown on Tuesday, he made K60 compared to his usual daily earnings of between K200 and K300 before the lockdown.
With his facemask on, the father of two said there was nothing much he could do but stay patient.
“The coronavirus is a sickness that has spread all around the world.” He noted that the Covid-19 had claimed hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide and he hoped the Government and authorities would work hard to protect the people from the Covid-19.
One may think that taxis in Port Moresby would be picking up the slack after the bus service was stopped but, according to Blackie, who drives under the Airport Transport Services taxi franchise, this was not the case when the streets were practically empty.
There are no night clubs in operation, no sporting events, no schools, no airlines in operation, few public servants and for Blackie that means fewer people needing to take taxis.
He said most taxis were parked outside the usual high traffic areas such as banks and shops but still not picking up as many customers.
Blackie resides at Gerehu while his wife and two sons are back in the village in Western Highlands.