By William Jones, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The consumer defense agency in Rio de Janeiro, Carioca Procon, is warning residents and tourists over reports that taxi drivers are illegally charging unfairly high fares when consulting the latest “table chart” of prices which can be seen in many taxi cab windows. The index card is a system where taxi drivers can calculate the the official increase in new fairs, while they wait for the taxi meter to be updated.
According to Secretary of Consumer Affairs of the City of Rio de Janeiro, Solange Amaral, numerous drivers who have had their taxi meters calibrated with the further increase of twelve percent, and therefore do not need to consult the chart, continue to query the table to collect an even higher fee.
The way to tell if a taxi driver has had his meter calibrated is by checking the color of an authentication sticker on the driver’s meter. Orange signifies that the meter has not been updated and the driver therefore does need to use the table of charges, while blue denotes that the meter has in fact been updated and the driver does not need the table.
By law all taxi drivers must have their meters calibrated by June 6th and this current practice is illegal. The sticker also contains information such as the vehicle license plate and the driver’s name which can be taken note of to report any wrong doing. The consequence for the taxi driver if they are found guilty could result in the driver’s license being revoked.
The Carioca Procon is urging passengers to be aware of the color of the seal on the meter in case of any drivers who want to attempt to extort their customers, especially tourists. Complaints should be directed to email@example.com email and will be dealt with by the Municipal Transportation Bureau.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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