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Saturday, 2 April 2016

Most of Smart Taxis using Mobile Phone Apps are illegal in Saudi Arabia

Taxi has significant use in KSA; people use it casually for transport. There are so many small and big companies which offer transport services. Private licenses are also issued to taxi holders in order to facilitate passengers. With the passage of time, along with local taxi companies, foreign companies have also started providing services in KSA. Government has issued licenses to many international companies which have latest vehicles with smart applications including trackers and GPS. According to the Roads and Transportation Administration in Makkah, many international companies are working in KSA in taxi service industry illegally. It is very important to mention here that there are many risks associated with riding on illegal taxis. Obviously, government will not be able to serve you in an appropriate way if something wrong happens.



Though government has issued licenses to many international companies but some others are operating without any license. EasyTaxi and Uber have started their services without any intimation to Traffic authorities. These companies offer luxurious services on latest vehicles having smart applications. These vehicles having smart applications are operating illegally and have no license issued by respective authorities.  The management of these companies is outside KSA as these are franchises of international companies. The ministry of transport has taken notice for illegal operations of these taxi companies and has contacted concerned authorities for prompt action. In order to make their services legal, the head offices of these companies would have to apply for licenses and have to fulfill all legal formalities.



Uber’s representative in KSA Majid Abokhatr who is acting as its Director General has explained the operational regime of company. He mentioned that the company has no self-owned vehicles. The company has made contracts with vehicle companies for latest technology vehicles. The company also hires drivers with vehicles and pays them a set amount of salary per month. The smart applications are part of latest vehicles and as company have to take vehicles from transport operators, Uber has no control over the use of smart applications by these drivers. Director General Uber also stated that electronic booking through smart application is the part of their job in order to provide quality and efficient services to its customers.



He further mentioned that being a technology company Uber tend to provide digital services to taxi operators who are licensed in KSA. Due to working in new environment the company has been trying hard to make up all formalities necessary to facilitate passenger and concerned authorities. According to him, Uber has been trying to make new contracts with licensed operators as Saudi government is willing to promote this facility for ease of citizens.



Saud Al-Nufaye who is Chairman of the National Committee for Land Transport Council of Saudi Chambers that these international taxi service companies are trying to violate traffic and road rules. They need to stop using smart applications otherwise strict action will be taken against them. According to him these companies don’t offer services as per rules and policies of Ministry of Transport. Instead they are operating in provide applications installed in their cars which is a clear violation of traffic rules. In case they would not change this practice, the ministry will ban these companies.


Source: Saudi Gazette

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