Taxi centers that operate in the greater Male’ region have presented their demands regarding taxi fares to the Transport Ministry.
A team representing the taxi centers went to the Transport Ministry on Monday morning, and submitted a letter of their demands.
A member of the team, Ahmed Shamaal told Sun that they met with Transport Minister Aishath Nahula and shared their concerns.
“The minister said she would attend to our letter very soon, and hold a meeting to engage in discussions to resolve the concerns of taxi drivers,” he said.
Shamaal said that Nahula also told them that such a decision did not involve the Transport Ministry alone, and that change to taxi fare would also require counsel from the President’s Office.
The taxi centers, in their letter, asked the Transport Ministry make necessary arrangements to expedite the installation of taximeters as soon as possible, and to raise taxi fares until such time, in light of the current situation.
The taxi centers also warned that all taxis would begin charging higher fares if the Transport Ministry failed to make a decision by Thursday, March 10.
The new taxi fares proposed by taxi center:
Shamaal said that the taxi centers hoped the Transport Ministry would make a decision as soon as possible, and that they did not wish to violate regulations.
He said that the taxi centers were open to negotiate changes to their proposed fares.
“It’s not what we want, to opt for civil unrest and disrupt a service in our community by even five minutes,” he said.
Mohamed Zahir, one of the taxi drivers who went to the Transport Ministry on Monday, said controlled fares at a time when prices of other commodities were rising was damaging to taxi drivers.
“The government needs to accept that this is a private sector. If the government fails to provide a good solution, then we will have to provide services at a rate agreed upon by driver and passenger,” he said.
Following the ultimatum by taxi centers, police issues a statement announcing they would take action against taxis found to be imposing fares higher than the fares set by the government.
Transport Ministry was not immediately available for comment, despite repeated calls.