Maldives Transport Authority announces decision to annul taxi licenses for taxis charging citizens more than the regulated amount.
Maldives Transport Authority set MVR 40 as the maximum chargeable fare for trips from Male' to Hulhumale or vice versa, across the Sinamale' bridge.
Coordinator for the Economic Ministry Mohamed Shafeeu stated the regulated prices were set following research conducted amongst the eight taxi centres established in the capital city of Male’.
“These are [based on] figures sent in by the taxi centres, not our own prices. We repeatedly clarified with the taxi centres before deciding upon a final rate,” said Shafeeu, as he declared that taxis failing to adhere to the regulation would have their licenses revoked.
In order to regulate taxi fares, Transport Authority promptly announced fixed rates from travel within the greater Male' region, including MVR 35 for a single between the airport island Hulhule and Hulhumale, and MVR 25 for a single trip within Male' and Hulhumale'.
Prior to the announcement, local news sources reported taxi drivers had been charging exorbitant rates between MVR 100 -250 for trips between the two islands.
According to some taxi drivers, the fares finalized by the government did not add up to the cost of making the trip across the Sinamale’ bridge.
The drivers claim that more than four litres of fuel are used per trip and that a litre of petrol costs MVR 10.77. The drivers argue that with a trip costing them more than MVR 43, it would not be feasible for them to charge MVR 40 for a fare.
“It takes 12 to 13 Kilometres for a trip from the district of Maafannu to reach a district in Hulhumale’. How could we make a return trip with MVR 40 per fare?”, said a taxi driver to local news Mihaaru, under the condition of anonymity.
The perimeter of Male’ is 5 Kilometres in length, while the bridge runs a length of 2 Kilometres. Drivers must cover an additional 4 Kilometres of road from Hulhule to reach districts within Hulhumale’.