Ridesharing drivers to stage protest next month

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Drivers for ridesharing companies like Careem and Uber are planning to stage a protest outside Parliament following a decision to reduce the operational life of ridesharing vehicles. (Photo: Unsplash)
AMMAN — Hundreds of drivers who work for ridesharing companies like Careem and Uber threatened to stage a protest in front of Parliament next month, following a decision by the Land Transport Regulatory Commission (LTRC) to reduce the operational life of their cars from seven to five years.اضافة اعلان

Lawrence Al-Rifai, the drivers’ spokesman, told Jordan News that the drivers are going to carry out a protest on December 7, “not only to complain about the reduction of vehicles’ operational life, but also against the dominance of the LTRC.”

Rifai said that this decision would make it difficult for drivers to repair their vehicles because thousands of drivers would not be able to pay off their debts.
He added that at a time when the drivers are complaining about problems they face with ridesharing companies, the commission decided to reduce the operational life of their vehicles. “The Ministry of Transport and the commission stand with the ridesharing companies — against drivers,” he said.

Among their demands is the extension of the operational life of their vehicles to up to 10 years, reducing the vehicle permit fees to JD200 annually instead of JD400, and allowing them to renew their permits through the LTRC directly without referring back to their respective companies. They also want to decrease the deductible percentage of their daily income.

Rifai claimed that some ridesharing companies do not adhere to the official price rate and that “neither the commission nor the ministry has taken any action”.

He said that there are more than 3,700 financially distressed drivers, expecting the number to increase significantly next year.

Majdi Saafin, a driver, saidthat drivers are in shock after being informed of the commission’s decision, noting that most of the drivers suffer from difficult financial situations and cannot afford to buy new vehicles. “If the commission does not reconsider its decision, many of their vehicles will be impounded,” he said.

Saafin claimed that both the commission and the ministry are not responsive to their demands, despite many attempts to talk to them.

Fadi Sulaiman, another driver, told Jordan News that the commission has extended the operational life of the vehicles in 2019, after repeated requests from drivers, however, “it decided behind our backs to reduce it again to five years”.

Ali Odebiat, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Transportation told Jordan News that the LTRC is the party the drivers should talk to and that the ministry cannot interfere. The ministry’s doors are always open to everyone, and the drivers have already met the minister more than one time and discussed their problems, he added.

LTRC Director-General Tarek Habashneh told Jordan News that the operational life for the vehicles is five years for now; however “the decision is still under consideration”.

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