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Protests will not affect newly implemented taxi rates: Transport

Raif Amyl Jalyl
06 August 2019, MVT 11:24
Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation declared that new taxi regulations will be imposed despite possible protests. PHOTO: MIHAARU.
Raif Amyl Jalyl
06 August 2019, MVT 11:24

Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation on Monday asserted that the recent amendments, introduced to taxi system in capital city Male', were fitting and thus would be implemented despite the impending taxi driver protest.

The new regulations fix MVR 75 as the highest price for transport from Male' to reclaimed suburb Hulhumale', as well as MVR 60 for travel from Male' to Velana International Airport.

It will also rule out any possibility for taxi drivers to raise prices for services obtained after midnight or for levying extra fees when passengers use the vehicles' trunk or storage areas.

According to local media Mihaaru, Deputy Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Shimaz Ali revealed that authorities had fixed the price cap having considered all expenses, including mandatory costs for drivers.

Offering his assurances that the new regulations would not hurt driver earnings, he declared that the ministry was set to implement the new regulations.

"Our research showed that MVR 11 worth of petrol is used up during a trip spanning from Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) base Kalhuthuhkalaa Koshi - furthest location of Male' - to the barbecue area in Hulhumale' - furthest location of the reclaimed suburb."

"Hence, MVR 75 for a vehicle ride between the two locations would not be a small amount", said Shimaz.

The Driver's Association recently revealed plans to organize a protest on the upcoming Wednesday, which coincides with the date set for the commencement of government mandated taxi fare rates.

A number of taxi drivers have also decided to file a case at the Civil Court, seeking to overturn the new regulations proposed by the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation.

Another source of grievance expressed by the taxi drivers was that the three approved taxi service mobile applications would permit private cars to transport passengers for fares, which in turn could potentially result in a decreased demand for taxi services.

Shizam articulated that the regulations were based on the ways in which taxi service operates within other countries as well. According to him, permits were given for applications because it was found that taxis were currently not able to cater adequately to the growing demands of the population based in the Greater Male' Region.

"Despite 1200 taxis being permitted in Male', everyone is aware of the plight involved in finding a vacant taxi within the capital city. Certain taxis only provide service for approximately two hours. The government must find a solution for such challenges citizens face. Applications were permitted in that vein", revealed Shimaz.

He further affirmed his belief that not all drivers were dissatisfied with the newly instated regulations and expressing his confidence that, as a result, not all would partake in protests.

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