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Taxi drivers eager to adjust their meters

Drivers say current tariff not enough to make a living; Transport Ministry studying fares

By Ahmed Bani Mustafa - Oct 17,2016 - Last updated at Oct 17,2016

Taxis’ current starting rate is 250 fils during the day and 300 fils at night. Drivers say the current tariff is not feasible (Photo by Osama Aqarbeh)

AMMAN — Taxi drivers in Amman on Monday  expressed hope that a government study on public transport fees would lead to an increase in fares. 

The Transport Ministry on Monday announced that a study is under way into transport fares in cooperation with the Land Transport Regulatory Commission (LTRC) and the Greater Amman Municipality’s public transportation department, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

Taxi driver Abdullah Abu Adam said current fares did not match the rising operational costs like fuel and rent, noting that many drivers do not own taxis, but rent them for a daily fee. 

“With the current tariff, I can’t make a living out of my full-time job as a taxi driver,” Abu Adam told The Jordan Times.

Another taxi driver, Faris Emoasi, said the current rates were unfair even for owner-drivers.

Meanwhile, drivers working with online cab booking apps are working without licences and taking business from licensed drivers, Emoasi said.  

“These companies are easily taking over the business. They charge more as they focus on taking tourists to and from hotels in Amman,” he added.

For Marwan Satari, who also drives a taxi in Amman, even a full day’s work does not earn a living wage. 

“A taxi driver is supposed to make JD7 per hour in order to cover his costs and make some money. Now, we make JD2-3 an hour because one trip could take one to one-and-a-half hours due to the heavy traffic in the capital,” said Satari.

Transport Ministry Spokesperson Ali Odeibat said no decisions had been taken yet to increase fares. 

Once the study is complete, it will be approved by the LTRC’s board of directors, which is the only authority that can adjust the fares, in line with oil prices. 

 

In January 2015, the LTRC decided to cut taxi fares by 10 per cent in light of the drop in oil prices, after a review of the operational costs of the different means of public transport.

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