Taxi drivers unhappy with new regulations

Taxi drivers have expressed their disapproval regarding the new rules and regulations imposed on taxis and have forwarded their complaints to the Transport Ministry.

Transport Ministry last week made it mandatory for taxis to use the three approved applications to offer their services.

The three applications are Avas Ride, E'aee and Sri Lanka's app Pick Me.

Transport Ministry has given a two months notice to taxis to begin using the mobile applications. Although use of application has already commenced, new taxi fares that were introucted by the Ministry will be put into effect starting Wednesday.

New Taxi Fares

* Male'-Hulhule: MVR 60

* Hulhule-Male': MVR 60

* Hulhule-Hulhumale': MVR 60

* Hulhumale'-Hulhule: MVR 60

* Male'-Hulhumale': MVR 75

* Hulhumale'-Male': MVR 75

Before binging changes to the taxi fares, the Transport Ministry held discussions with taxi centers and drivers. A forum was also held to discuss the issue.

However, unhappy taxi drivers lodged complaints earlier on Sunday over the new changes. Owner of taxi center 'Fine Taxi' Ahmed Shihad said the new fares were imposed without discussing it with the centers and drivers.

"We re not happy with the new fares. Using a taxi app is also not feasible. The only solution is to install meter systems in the taxis and fixing a price for the meters." he said.

Shihad also further noted it is not acceptable that a foreign party is running one of the taxi apps.

"It is not acceptable that the application is being run by foreigners, it would not be an issue if it was run by Maldivians. It is also an issue that private cars can use the apps. There are no set rules for them to follow while taxi drivers have to undergo numerous training," Shihad said.

Another driver said MVR 60 and MVR 75 is not an adequate fare for a ride to Hulhuamale'.

"Next year Hulhumale Second Phase will be opened. It will not be feasible to take a passenger from the furthest end of Male' to the Second Phase apartments for that price." the driver said.