Success of APP-based services gets on nerves of traditional taxi drivers

The public appreciation for newly launched app-based taxi services has created chaos among old and traditional taxi drivers seeing their future lurking in the dark. The cabbies of twin cities who have recently launched a protest against their modern and vibrant competitors announced to extend it in the coming week to force the relevant authorities to address their concerns.
There are more than ten thousand registered cabs in twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi serving public over the years but they lost their market in a short span of time after app-based services overwhelmingly won public approval.
A traditional taxi drivers association’s representative Munsaf was confident that the issue would be resolved as assured by the concerned authorities in the running week. Otherwise, he said, they would demonstrate in coming week and observe sit-ins.
The Islamabad Transport Authority (ITA) however admitted that there were some genuine and legal loopholes to bring these online services into authentic and systematic official network.
The Secretary of the ITA Jawad Muzafar talking to this scribe informed that after many rounds of consultations with taxi drivers and ridesharing services (Careem & Uber etc), the ITA had put some recommendations to streamline the affairs.
He said a checklist to cover legal and technical loopholes to bring online services into mainstream was shared for consultation with the concerned departments. Those recommendations, Jawad informed, include fitness certificate to be issued to the private cars working for the online services by Motor Vehicle Examiner (MVE), ITA. These facilities would also be made to ensure route permits to ply, he said. The app-based services would be forced to display customized stickers on their vehicles’ front and back screens. “We would issue a fares list to the app-based services which they have to follow strictly,” he said and added the passangers’ insurance would also be compulsory for their safety. Jawad informed that the ITA had also recieved a proposal from the Director Excise and Taxation Department that app-based vehicles’ status should be converted from private to commercial.—APP

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