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Taxi meters to be introduced after Ramadan

The transport ministry also plans to introduce a mobile app and standardised design.



The transport ministry has reached a decision on introducing taxi meters with the new fares to be announced after Ramadan.

After the Eid holidays in early June, customers would be charged based on the distance of the trip, State Minister Ahmed Adil told the press on Sunday. New rates that the authorities have decided upon would be announced after Ramadan, he added.

The ministry previously pledged to introduce affordable new fares that would be beneficial for both taxi drivers and customers.

There are more than 1,100 taxis registered to operate in Malé. A fixed rate of MVR25 (US$1.6) is charged for rides within the city.

The new administration also plans to introduce a mobile app, taxi stops and a standardised design for taxis in the capital.

The policy change from fixed rates to a metered services comes after taxi drivers voiced opposition when the transport ministry announced rates for crossing the new Sinamalé bridge from Malé to the airport island and the capital’s suburb Hulhumalé.

In January, taxi drivers went on strike in protest against an aborted decision to enforce a fixed rate of MVR40 (US$2.5) for a bridge crossing trip. Taxis were allowed to continue charging MVR100 as the transport ministry stopped using undercover police and penalising drivers until rules made by the previous administration could be reviewed.

The move drew criticism as the public objected to the settled price and many commuters from Hulhumalé resumed using the ferry.