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Ride-hailing drivers react to new quota, sticker regulations

By Renad Aljadid - Feb 02,2019 - Last updated at Feb 02,2019

AMMAN — The Land Transport Regulatory Commission on Thursday announced a quota limiting the number of drivers for each ride-hailing app to 5,000.

The drivers must also put a sticker of their company’s logo on their cars’ doors, according to the official gazette.

The new regulations raised controversy among drivers working with apps like Careem and Uber, who criticised the “random and continuously changing decisions”, which they described as a means of “soothing angry taxi drivers” following a series of taxi sit-ins to protest ride-hailing apps.

Abu Mohammad, a part-time Careem driver, said that they have already “paid loads” to obtain their operational permits and the stickers might cause harm and embarrassment for people who use their cars for other purposes.

“Many app drivers are either students or employees, so some might lose their jobs if the company knows they have another business,” he added.

However, some Careem and Uber drivers said the regulations might actually be beneficial for drivers.

Ahmad Salim, a full-time Careem driver, said that reducing the number of cars will better regulate the sector and reduce competition, adding that the sticker will not be a problem for him as a full-timer who uses his car for only that purpose.

Ayman Taha, an engineer who works with Careem for extra income, said that the sticker could be a good advertisement for apps and will give users a sense of safety, but he expressed concern over reducing the number of cars.

“It was necessary to reduce the number of cars working with such apps so we can resume our work,” said Samir, a taxi driver who requested that his last name not be used. “Most of these drivers already have jobs but insist on invading our business, which is unfair.”

However, with the new regulations achieved by taxis, Basem Sarhan, a part-time Uber driver said: “We are fed up with all the decisions that attempt to restrict our work more. It seems like we also have to protest like taxis in order to be heard.”

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