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: The Ministry of Education (MoE) has allocated over 180 clinics for schools in Riyadh and directed all its departments across the Kingdom to recruit health advisers at schools with more than 100 students.Work has already started on introducing...
RIYADH: The Moroccan experience in desert tourism is largely similar to that of Saudi Arabia, which boasts of a unique diversity in culture in its different regions, Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National...
JAZAN: Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited the advanced field hospital of the Armed Forces in Jazan on Tuesday.He was reassured about the injured in the ongoing battle. He conveyed the greetings of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King S...
JEDDAH: The planned “North Thunder” military exercise is a clear message to Iran and the countries in the region it supports that any hostile intentions and actions will be firmly dealt with, an expert has said.The military drill is scheduled to be h...
RIYADH: Syrian conjoined twins will be separated at the King Abdullah Specialist Children’s Hospital at the King Abdul Aziz Medical City (KAMC) in Riyadh on Sunday.According to a KAMC spokesman, the forthcoming surgery will be the fourth and final st...
JEDDAH: Education Minister Ahmed Al-Issa has issued an order to establish a department for school security. It will be be linked organizationally to the general supervisor of school safety and security at the ministry.According to the decision, schoo...
JEDDAH: From delivering mails for Saudi Aramco to captaining Saudi Arabian Airlines’ first flight to New York, Jazza Al-Shammari’s career story is unique.“I started my career as a postman with Saudi Aramco in 1959 and continued the primary studies at...
RIYADH: A team of the King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center (KFSHRC) has identified a gene responsible for cardiomyopathy.Dr. Zuhair bin Nasser Al-Hasnan, KFSHRC medical genetics consultant, said the team conducted a study on a Saudi...
JEDDAH: The Pakistan Welfare Society (PWS) organized a free medical camp and discussion on health for women at the Pakistani Consulate recently.Doctors and specialists diagnosed patients and distributed free medicines to needy patients, and arranged...
JEDDAH: Yemen Vice President and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah has thanked Saudi Arabia for standing by his country during tough times.Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Tuesday, he said: “Our GCC brothers, particularly Saudi Arabia, s...
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia joined the rest of the world in intensifying public awareness on cancer with activities spread over the week supporting the global cause that aims to save millions of lives every year by raising awareness and education about the...
RIYADH: Chairman of ACWA Power International Mohammed Abu Nayyan thanked King Mohammed VI of Morocco for personally inaugurating Morocco’s first solar power plant, Noor1, built by an international consortium led by his company.“We were extremely priv...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Health is considering imposing an asset declaration as well as an absence of interest conflict testimony on its employees as a measure in fighting corruption.Health Minister Khalid Al-Falih made the announcement at a one-day f...
DAMMAM: Abdussalam Kanniyan, chairman of the International Indian School in Dammam (IISD), has been honored with the “Person of the Year 2015” award by Vatakara NRI Forum, a community group in the Eastern Province.The award was based on his outstandi...
RIYADH: Andrej Plenkovic, the leader of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee delegation, on Tuesday hailed Saudi Arabia for its yeoman services in looking after the displaced Syrians in countries such as Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.“We fu...

Stay Connected

Facebook