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

RIYADH: In a fresh boost for relations between Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh, the Kingdom has decided to sign a memorandum of understanding on Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) with Dhaka. The Kingdom endorsed a proposal in this regard at a meeting be...
The Indonesian mission is hopeful detained Indonesian pilgrims will be free “very soon.” The mission is trying to persuade Saudi authorities of their nationals’ innocence.Eleven Indonesian pilgrims, who arrived in the holy city of Makkah to perform U...
JEDDAH: Police at King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh arrested a Saudi hacker after a government organization in Al-Leith in Makkah complained that he had hacked its website, according to an online newspaper.Col. Atti Al-Qurashi, spokesman fo...
JEDDAH: The special criminal court has sentenced a former military official to nine years in jail for joining Daesh and traveling to Syria to fight.A fine of SR5,000 was also slapped on him and he was barred from traveling abroad for nine years after...
JEDDAH: Saudi-Indian ties have reached a new high with the arrival of an Indian Air Force (IAF) flying contingent at the King Fahd Air Base in Taif.The mission, comprising more than 100 high-ranking IAF officers and airmen onboard Sukhoi MKI fighter...
RIYADH: A tripartite agreement among the National Handicraft Program, Prisons Department and the Technical and Vocational Training Corp. (TVTC) was recently signed in the presence of Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tou...
JEDDAH: British authorities have opened investigations into the plane crash that led to the death of three members of the Binladin family.Investigations depend on the black box which registers the entire plane’s data, including speed, position of mob...
JAZAN: In a tragic accident, a speeding fuel truck caused four deaths and injuries to many people when it collided head on with five cars on the northern entrance of Abu Areesh area of Jazan, according to a website.The truck deviated from its path an...
JEDDAH: Municipal and Rural Affairs Minister Abdul Lateef Al-Asheikh has directed all the municipal authorities to closely scrutinize the election candidates’ credentials to thwart violation of rules.This is to ensure that the candidates meet all the...
Mohammed Mokammel Hossain, labor consul, Bangladesh Consulate, Jeddah * Which particular aspect of Saudi Arabia you like the most? Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah.* Can you tell us your favorite and oft-repeated Arabic word? Insha’Allah. * W...
RIYADH: Expatriates feel Saudi Arabia is a safer place than their home countries despite the fact that the Kingdom is leading a war against the Yemeni rebels and other terror organizations and a couple of suicide attacks in the recent past. Mahmoud T...
RIYADH: The maximum medical policy or contract for visitors is SR100,000, which covers expenses on emergency treatment, maternity charges, traffic accident injuries, dialysis and medical treatment in or outside the Kingdom. Making the above announce...
JEDDAH: The city and its surrounding areas sweltered on Monday, with the maximum temperature rising to 44 degree Celsius and relative humidity being recorded at 85 percent. The weather department has forecast a similar situation in Jeddah on Tuesday....
JEDDAH: A National Academy for Energy in Dammam and a private technical technical college, both exclusively for women, will be opened in the Easter Province.The General Organization of Technical and Vocational Training is in the process of implementi...
AL-AHSA: Masjid Joatha or Joatha Mosque is a center of attraction in Al-Ahsa with many visitors and tourists thronging the place of worship, which was believed to have been built in the seventh year of Hijri (629 AD).The mosque has been restored as p...

Stay Connected

Facebook