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Maldives to introduce metered taxis and mandatory helmet use

10 January 2019, MVT 16:07
Traffic on the Sinamale' Bridge. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/ MIHAARU
10 January 2019, MVT 16:07

Maldives Transport Authority, on Thursday, announced the introduction of metered taxis and mandatory helmet use while crossing the Sinamale’ Bridge.

In a news conference, the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Aishath Nahula, disclosed that wearing helmets on the bridge will be mandatory starting from March 10. She explained that the changes were brought about keeping the safety of citizens in mind.

The Minister further noted that this regulation would help to reduce fatal head injuries in cases of dangerous accidents.

Minister Nahula stated that the conclusion to introduce metered taxis was reached after inquiring into the difficulties faced by service providers and citizens.

A forum was held on Tuesday night to gather opinions of both parties before reaching this decision. Transport Authority also conducted an online survey to determine the expectations of the majority of people.

Most speakers in the forum agreed that the MVR 25 charged for taxi rides within Male’ was a suitable amount despite the difficulties faced while hailing a taxi, drivers picking up various passengers simultaneously, and making multiple stops.

Transport Minister emphasized that introducing metered taxis will not increase the fares. She disclosed that the Ministry will decide on fares that will be in the best interest of drivers and passengers alike.

Taxi drivers usually charge a fare of MVR 100 for a ride from Male’ to airport island Hulhule' or reclaimed suburb Hulhumale’ across the Sinamale' Bridge. Various complaints have been made by the public on different occasions regarding these high fees. Minister Nahula stated that metered taxis would bring a solution to this problem.

In addition, Transport Ministry also decided to assign the operation of buses to Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) instead of Maldives Ports Limited (MPL, which is currently operating bus services between Male’ and Hulhumale’.