Taxi centers have said Transport Minister Aishath Nahula did not provide any assurance that the ministry would raise taxi fares.
Taxi centers have been calling to raise the taxi fares due to the hike in oil and diesel prices, stating that the centers and drivers suffer losses due to the high oil prices and low fares. They have demanded the government to officially raise the prices and threatened to raise the prices effective March 10, whether the ministry approves or not. The centers requested to meet with the minister to discuss the matter, and a meeting was held on Wednesday.
Sharing information on the meeting, the owner of a local taxi center said the minister did not assure that fares would be increased. However, the minister said she would work to address some concerns raised by the drivers and provide a solution.
'The minister said taxi fares are linked to the citizens and that it is a policy-level decision. She said if any change is brought to taxi fares, it can only be implemented after discussion between the relevant authorities. She did not give a date or a timeline for this,' he said.
Taxi centers have also requested the ministry to expedite the installation of meters in taxis. The minister said technical experts must closely review the matter, and a decision can be made only after that, he said.
The drivers also brought up the issue of private cars using the taxi queues designated for taxis at Velana International Airport. He said that the minister assured that she would communicate with Maldives Airports Company Limited to seek a solution to the issue.
Taxi drivers have planned to strike and stop their services if the ministry does not approve their proposed revision to taxifares and if action is taken against them for charging higher fares.
The new fares proposed by taxi centers:
Rides within Male' City: MVR 30
Rides within Hulhumale' Phase II: MVR 25
Rides within Hulhumale' Phase I: MVR 25
Rides between Hulhumale' Phase I and Phase II: MVR 40
Rides between Hulhumale' Phase II and Male': MVR 120
Rides between Hulhumale' Phase I and Male': MVR 100
Rides between Hulhule Airport and Male': MVR 80
Rides between Hulhule Airport and Hulhumale': MVR 80
Rides between Hulhule Airport Seaplane Terminal and Male': MVR 100
Rides between Hulhule Airport Seaplane Terminal and Hulhumale' Phase I: MVR 100
Rides between Hulhule Airport Seaplane Terminal and Hulhumale' Phase II: MVR 120
An extra charge of MVR 5 will be applicable for rides after 0000 hrs.
The current taxi fares set by the Transport Ministry are:
Rides within Male': MVR 25
Rides within Hulhumale': MVR 25
Rides between Male' and Hulhule: MVR 60
Rides between Hulhumale' and Hulhule: MVR 60
Rides between Male' and Hulhumale': MVR 75
According to taxi service regulations, offenders will be advised and warned if regulations are violated. The first offense would carry an MVR 500 fine, while a second offense carries an MVR 1,000 fine. If further offenses are committed, the ministry has the authority to seize their licenses.