New taxi rates in effect starting from today

A taxi driver taking luggage from the trunk.

The new regulations by the Transport Authority regarding fare rates for taxis will be in effect starting from today.

The new regulations state that MVR 75 is the rate of a trip between Male' and Hulhumale', while trips from Male' and Hulhumale' to Hulhule can be charged MVR 60.

Taxi drivers had been charging MVR 100 for trips between Male' and Hulhumale' previously. However, due to the concerns of a large number members of the public, the Transport Ministry had brought changes to the taxi rates and brought fare rates under control.

The Transport Ministry has also relaxed its stance on the matter due to concerns expressed by taxi drivers and has reinstated an extra charge of MVR 5 for trips made during 00:00 and 06:00. Trips inside Male' and Hulhumale will still cost MVR 25.

It has also relaxed its stance regarding making use of three government-approved apps on drivers and centers mandatory. The use of the three apps- PickMe, Avas Ride and AIE - are no longer mandatory, but optional. Private vehicles can also be utilized for taxi services if they are registered through these apps. However, the usage of these apps has also been criticized by taxi drivers who argue it is unfair for private vehicles which do not pay any taxi registration fee to the government to be allowed to operate as taxis.

The president of the Taxi Driver's Association yesterday stated that the drivers now had no issues with the new prices set by the Ministry and that drivers now wanted to install meters on taxis.

"We are satisfied with the new prices and we welcome it. We only have one choice. Drivers want the introduction of the meter system which we have been requesting the Ministry for quite some time now. We are working for that now," said the president of the Taxi Driver's Association Abdulla Ibrahim who had previously stated his opposition to the new prices.

"We ask for meters, we are ready to obey. We will respond if you call today or even tomorrow. We are ready to install meters at our own expense even." said Abdulla Ibrahim. He also stated that it was a grave concern for the drivers that the Ministry had not responded to their requests to install meters.