By Sara Anabtawi
Taxi firms in kingdom will have to be owned and invested in by Saudis only
Taxi firms in Saudi Arabia will require to be owned by and invested in by citizens as part of a Saudization drive in the sector, reported Arab News, citing a government official.
The move comes as part of the Transport Ministry’s new regulations for taxis in the kingdom, which will come into effect on 22 October.
Under the new regulations, all taxi companies must meet the standards of the municipal traffic department, including the operation of an administrative office, holding minimum third-party insurance coverage to insure both the car and the driver and adequate parking.
“The new guidelines will improve safety for drivers and passengers in all Saudi cities,” said Transport Minister Jabara Al-Seraisry.
Each car must hold an 'Automated Vehicle Locater', which will be used to track and direct all taxis.
The system will record information, including the car’s driving speed, pick-up and drop-off locations of customers, and the operating time of the taxi.
Drivers found not following the new system will be fined SAR200 (US$53.30) for the first violation, SAR400 (US$107) for multiple violations, and eventual cancellation of their driving license.
The guidelines also require drivers to wear uniforms and be physically fit to help passengers with their luggage, as well as any potential disabilities.
Smoking will not be allowed in the taxis, and ‘no-smoking’ signs must be displayed in each car.
Drivers will also be banned from random passenger pick-ups from airports, hospitals, shopping malls, business offices and transport facilities, as customers will need to call the taxi office to fill in their request.