Fares of taxis traveling from Male’ city to Hulhumale’ has been a major issue ever since the Sinamale’ bridge opened. The government’s first solution was outright rejected by the taxi drivers who had been charging MVR 100 per trip or more then.
After the bridge was opened, the Transport Authority stated that a trip from Male’ to Hulhumale can be charged MVR 40. Trips to Hulhule from both islands can be charged at MVR 35 and trips inside Male’ or Hulhumale’ can only be charged MVR 25 with a trunk charge of extra MVR 5 if used after midnight. However, these regulations fell on deaf ears and resulted in taxi drivers still charging outrageous amounts for travels between the two islands.
The drivers who expressed their discontent to the government finally got permission to charge MVR 100 per trip by the current administration temporarily until the prices were reviewed by the government.
Now, after months, the government has finally come up with a new price mechanism. The current rates state that trips between Male’ and Hulhumale’ can be charged MVR 75. Trips to Hulhule from both islands can be charged MVR 60, while trips inside Male’ and Hulhumale are still charged MVR 25.
The new prices have been met with mixed reactions from the drivers. A driver from Hulhumale stated that he was happy with the current rates and that they were not too expensive. However, a taxi center in Male’ expressed their refusal to comply with the new regulations and stated that the center’s taxies will keep charging MVR 100 per trip between Male’ and Hulhumale’.
“We don’t have any taxis that the government provided for us. No matter what price they issue, we will keep charging MVR 100 per trip from Male’ to Hulhumale’,” said the person who spoke on behalf of the center.
Another center stated that even though they had unsatisfied drivers, they will comply with the new regulations because they seem fair.
Another center in Hulhumale’ stated their disapproval with the new rates. “This is something we do to live. How can we operate at these prices? For instance, a trip from Hulhumale’ to AMDC in Male’ can burn around 30 liters of petrol for both trips. Since this is a center in Hulhumale’ most drivers would come back to Hulhumale, won’t they?”
“Most taxis are not driven by their owners, they are driven by employees who have to pay the owners MVR 500 or MVR 300 per day.” said the disgruntled driver from the center.
The driver went as far as to call on all drivers to protest against the new prices on August 4. “I haven’t had a complaint froma passenger that the trip fare of MVR 100 was too expensive. This change was brought without properly consulting us. There was a meeting in Majeedhiyya School five days ago, but they failed to show us a valid reason to bring this change.” said the driver.
The Transport Ministry has stated that the new prices were set after adequate research and consultation was carried out with every relevant party. The Transport Minister has also stated that the main concern of the public was that the unavailability of taxis and the extremely high fare charges imposed by the drivers.
The new regulations will allow private individuals to carry out taxi services as well and will make the usage of taxi applications compulsory as well.
Some members of the public have stated that the new regulations were a positive change and that the only challenge now was to get the stubborn drivers to comply with it.
“The previous change to MVR 40 was rejected by the drivers who outright defied it. Sometimes passengers got left stranded on the road after the drivers refused to make the trip for MVR 40 as per previous the regulations. MVR 100 is a huge fare and this can only be solved if these changes are implemented.” said a person who spoke to “Sun”.
These mixed responses by the drivers have left the result and effectiveness of these new regulations to be seen only when the new changes are implemented.
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Source URL: Sun.mv