Taxi meters mandate drawing near



JEDDAH: KHADIJA HABIB

Published — Thursday 15 August 2013

Last update 27 August 2013 10:29 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

Metered taxi service is expected to be implemented this week in an effort to curb overcharging passengers and provide a uniform tariff system, according to the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI).
The move to metering fares stems from the Ministry of Transportation’s mandatory ruling that requires taxi drivers across the country to operate a system that is fairer to passengers.
“Ministry of Transportation’s decision was meant to curb overcharging of taxi fares,” said Abdullah Al-Qahtani, deputy chairman of the Public Fares Committee of JCCI. “The regulation will be applied in the two upcoming days.”
Al-Qahtani said the JCCI will conduct a series of forums and business meetings to determine how to develop a mechanism.
“The discussions will also cover how this system will guarantee everyone’s fair share in the new process, while it is being followed almost all over the world,” Al-Qahtani said.
Many taxis in the Kingdom already have meters installed. However, the electronic devices are often disabled, broken or the cab driver refuses to use it. Most passengers bargain with drivers for the fare. While not specifically a policy, a standard fare for many trips in central Jeddah is SR20. But fares for even a short trip could reach as much as SR40 if traffic is congested.
A SR20 fare may be a thing of the past. A metered taxi may have a flag down rate of SR5 before the meter starts counting. The potential for higher rates for a metered taxi is far greater than amounts charged based on traditional bargaining.
Abdullah Sa’ad, owner of a local taxi company, told Arab News the new fare structure could benefit taxi drivers who work on a slim profit margin.
“Taxi company owners insist their employees deliver a certain daily amount. The cabbies income is the amount left after deduction of the owner's daily amount and fuel cost from the fare earned during the day,” Sa’ad said.
He noted: “This amount usually is satisfactory to some of our employees. Some work hard to get more customers. Sometimes we reschedule the amount payable to the employer, especially during summer holidays when the market tends to be in general slowdown.”
Taxi driver Ali Al-Muraisi said the Ministry of Transport’s decision to enforce meters is in the best interest of drivers.
“It will guarantee a steady and additional income for us,” Al-Muraisi said. “Companies oblige drivers to achieve a daily target with the excess paid to the driver.”
Ethiopian taxi driver Taha Saeed agreed. He said mandatory meters would minimize exploiting female passengers dependent on drivers. Yet Saeed had doubts whether the Transportation Ministry’s ruling will actually come to fruition.
“I’ve been hearing about this decision for two years now, and I hope it is implemented soon,” Saeed said. “I wonder when the new system will be implemented and what would be the status of old cars.”
Aysha Ahmad, a private sector employee, said the decision would be good for taxis, but not passengers because they can log extra miles to pad fares. “They can take longer routes not to mention congested ones,” Ahmad said.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Employees of the Education Office in Al-Daer governorate, Jazan, where seven people were gunned down on Thursday are in a state of shock and perplexed as to what prompted the attacker — a teacher — to take such an extreme step.The teacher, id...
JEDDAH: The campaign to support Syrian refugees with all their needs is being carried out effectively, as per the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman....
RIYADH: The Ministry of Municipalities and Rural Affairs has ordered the allocation of separate sections for female members of municipal councils.This was announced by Jedaie Al-Qahtani of the ministry. “This is in implementation of Clause 107 of the...
DAMMAM: The 9th Saudi Student Conference which is being held on Feb. 13-14 is sponsored by Umm Al-Qura University and hosted by the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. It was organized by the Scientific Society for Saudi Students in the...
RIYADH: Over the past 10 years, begging in the Kingdom has increased substantially, with the number of organized gangs of expatriate beggars increasing to 85 percent of the total number of beggars, according to Social Affairs Ministry Majed Al-Qassab...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Health said it expects its blood donation drive will received 450,000 milliliters (ml) of blood when the Janadriyah festival ends on Feb. 19.Khalid Ibrahim Zobaie, who supervises the blood donation project, said the drive is i...
JEDDAH: The Shoura Council’s decision to reduce working hours in the private sector from 48 hours to 40 hours per week would result in additional operational costs in the sector due to 30 percent higher wages for expat workers, according to Mansour b...
MADINAH: Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman recently visited a number of ongoing developmental project sites in the Holy City, as part of his efforts to ensure that they meet the set standards and deadlines.During the visit, he said that all the s...
RIYADH: The National Guard Ministry is studying the possibility of having two countries as guests of honor each year instead of one at the Janadriyah festival for culture and heritage, the Kingdom’s most prestigious annual festival.This was revealed...
DAMMAM: The Pakistan International School in Alkhobar hosted their 49th annual prize distribution ceremony to honor outstanding students in the presence of Pakistani Ambassador Manzoor Ul Haq and his wife, Nighat Manzoor.Haq appreciated the efforts o...
DAMMAM: The Weaam Association for Family Care in the Eastern Province has succeeded in addressing more than 700 cases of family disputes during the last one year.Abdulrahman Al-Khudair, Weaam’s director of public delations, said: “The association off...
JEDDAH: The Nakheel mall case has continued to grab the limelight, with a number of lawyers now offering their services to the girl who was roughed up by some Haia members in Riyadh. Some people also expressed, through social media, their support to...
RIYADH: Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Asheikh inaugurated this week a campaign tosafeguard Saudi society against bad influences.“The campaign seeks to immunize society in the Kingdom from deviant ideas as well as utter lies and heresies that could...
RIYADH: A Filipino nurse who works at a clinic in Riyadh has been missing for a week, her colleagues has said.According to a co-worker at the clinic, the 43-year-old nurse from from Lamitan town in Basilan province, southern Philippines, wa...
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Haj will put in place new measures for issuing Umrah visas for pilgrims from outside the country with the coordination of the Saudi embassies abroad, a local newspaper reported.The new measures will be implemented soon, given...

Stay Connected

Facebook