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Taxi drivers hail decision of lifting Friday curfew

By Bahaa Al Deen Al Nawas - Jan 19,2021 - Last updated at Jan 19,2021

A pedestrian speaks to a taxi driver on a street in Amman on Tuesday (Photo by Osama Aqarbeh)

AMMAN — Drivers of taxis and ride-hailing companies on Tuesday hailed the government’s decisions to lift Friday curfew, saying that the weekend is as important as any other day for their livelihoods.

“Public transport is vital on weekends. Last Friday, which wasthe first without curfew in a long time, was of great importance to us even though it has not reached its full potential yet,” Chief Operating Officer at one of ride-hailing companies Khaled Jaradat told The Jordan Times on Tuesday over the phone.

He added that every working day is important for drivers as their income is calculated per day and they are considered daily-wage workers.

Samir Akaileh, a driver at one of the ride-hailing applications told The Jordan Times that the closures and lockdowns have resulted in accumulated losses for many drivers, many of whom are now facing lawsuits by banks and various other creditors for not being able pay their dues on time. 

“Some banks are not responding positively to the Central Bank of Jordan’s request to postpone installements,” he noted.

President of the Transport Services and Taxi Owners Union Ahmad Abu Haidar also said that, although the first free-curfew Friday witnessed only little work, it still helped. 

“We hope that Friday curfew will be lifted for good,” Abu Haidar said. 

The government last week announced that Friday curfew will no longer be in effect, following an earlier decision of decreasing night curfew hours, which allowed businesses to operate until 11pm and public movement until 12 midnight. 

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