Taxi owners cry foul over private cars taking passengers
AMMAN, Feb 26, 2013 (Jordan Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The Transport Services and Taxi Owners Union on Monday urged the Land Transport Regulatory Commission (LTRC) to take immediate action against drivers of private vehicles who transport passengers for a fee.
"Drivers of private vehicles should be banned from transporting paying passengers. This is illegal and affects the work of taxis and service taxis," Ahmad Abu Haidar, the union president, told The Jordan Times.
"The situation is intolerable. The number of private vehicles transferring passengers for a fee is on the rise and immediate action needs to be taken before owners of taxis and service taxis think of going on a strike or a work stoppage in protest against this phenomenon," Abu Haidar said.
Claiming that around 14,000 private vehicles work as taxis and service taxis across the country, he said this will worsen the economic conditions of cabbies.
"We have repeatedly complained to the LTRC but it seems it is difficult to curb this phenomenon," Abu Haidar said.
LTRC Spokesperson Saed Oshoush acknowledged that the number of private cars ferrying passengers for a fee represents a challenge and negatively affects the income of taxi drivers.
"These private vehicles compete with taxis and service taxis and this is illegal... we have taken a series of measures in cooperation with the Central Traffic Department and other concerned authorities to prevent the practice," Oshoush told The Jordan Times.
Traffic police closely monitor such practices and issue tickets to violators, he said.
"However, to prevent this phenomenon, it is important that citizens cooperate and stop using these private vehicles," he said.
Ahmad Ramadan, a taxi driver in Amman, said his job was affected by this practice.
"I have seen several private cars picking up passengers, especially at night. I sometimes argue with drivers of these cars, but there should be a systematic procedure to end this practice, which is harming our business," Ramadan said in a phone interview.
According to figures released by the LTRC, recorded violations of private cars being used as taxis rose from 3,439 in 2006 to 8,370 in 2010, while the figure stood at 3,340 at the end of September 2012.
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