GPS data will be used to catch taxi drivers using an Ashfield laneway as a toilet
TAXI drivers are the chief suspect in a public poo pandemic that’s leaving a group of Ashfield business owners flushed with anger.
Shop owners on Hercules St say discovering human faeces in the laneway behind their businesses has become “a daily occurrence” along with the nauseating task of cleaning-up the offerings.
The situation has become so bad real estate agent Tim Simpson is considering relocating the business he’s run in Ashfield for 40 years.
He said the final straw was catching a taxi driver “in the act” last weekend.
“I understand drivers are expected to work 24/7 but surely there’s better options than this,” he said.
“We’re the ones who are having to clean it up. It’s like living in the Third World.”
National taxi firm 13 CABS is investigating the claims by matching complaints against data from GPS devices fitted in taxis.
Head of client services Simon Purssey said he was “shocked and horrified” to hear the reports.
“I understand ‘when a man’s gotta go, a man’s gotta go’ but if you’ve eaten a bad souvlaki and all of a sudden have to pull over you don’t do it in someone’s property,” he said.
“We need to identify the culprits and bring them in for re-education because it’s not in any way shape or form in line with our corporate guidelines.
“This is the first time the taxi industry has had competition (Uber) for 135 years and we have to be smarter.”
The shop owners have put the problem down to a lack of public toilet facilities in the town centre.
Currently, the only public toilet is behind Opal Card gates at Ashfield Station. A toilet block opposite the station is rented by State Transit for bus drivers.
Supermarket owner Sadar Adhikari said other recent incidents included witnessing a taxi driver making a quick dash for the laneway while clenching sheets of toilet paper in hand.
And last week, Star Ace Patisserie owner Rita Lin sprung another offender unloading himself next to her staff entrance.
The situation has reignited calls for the Inner West Council to expedite the town centre upgrade which Mr Simpson said would “help people take pride in the CBD rather than using it as a toilet.”
The upgrade includes a proposal for a public toilet in a new commuter carpark.
A council spokeswoman said the delayed upgrade is “due to begin later this year”