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Thu 31 Dec 2015 02:01 PM

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Qatar calls for more female taxi drivers

Move is aimed at avoiding harassment and increasing security for female passengers

Qatar calls for more female taxi drivers
(Getty Images)

Qatar’s Central Municipal Council (CMC) has called for more female taxi drivers to meet high demand, Doha News reported.

The council has urged state-run transportation company, Mowasalat, to expand a female taxi driver service to facilitate a safe and comfortable way for women to get around the country.

According to CMC member, Nasser Ibrahim Mohamed Issa Al Mohannadi, the move would help women feel more secure, avoid bullying, and evade harassment.

It would also help preserve the customs and traditions Qatar’s conservative society, he said.

Female customers have reportedly complained about taxi drivers bullying them into paying higher fees, especially at night.

The incidents involved cab drivers stopping halfway, locking the car doors, and demanding customers hand over a certain fare instantly.

Qatar’s second taxi franchise operator, Alijarah’s Limousine service, has recently launched a female drivers’ service to tackle the issue. However, the service is limited and high-priced.

For five days a week, trips inside the capital would cost over $800 (QR 2,925). Flat rates for one trip would start at $16 (QR 60).

Al Mohannadi recommended that the expanded service offer uniquely coloured taxis so that women can easily spot them on the street.

Furthermore, to encourage more women to use public transport, Mowasalat has revealed it will reserve seats in big public buses for women only.

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