Yellow cabs reject gov’t subsidy offer

(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN  — Yellow Cabs and shuttle taxi drivers rejected a government subsidy offer to help them cope with rising fuel prices, saying it was “unfair” and failed to adequately compensate them.اضافة اعلان

Mohammad Shehadeh Al-Hadid, vice-president of the General Syndicate of Owners of Public Cars and Taxi Offices, said he “rejected” the fuel subsidy offer by the Land Transport Regulatory commission (LTRC) because “it is completely unfair”.

“We had asked LTRC for JD3 in assistance per day, but it insisted on JD2, which we rejected,” Hadid told Jordan News.

“Eventually, LTRC said it would pay only JD1.7, which is even less than what we initially rejected,” he pointed out.

The head of another syndicate, this one is not recognized by the Jordanian government, termed LTRC’s subsidy plan a “coup against drivers”.

“The decision was taken with disdain for the drivers,” declared Suleiman Al-Siryani, head of the Independent Syndicate of Public Drivers.

Both said LTRC’s offer covered yellow cabs and white shuttles, which operate designated routes, and are commonly known as “service”.

Earlier this week, LTRC Director-General Tariq Habashneh said that JD5 million was allocated to aid those working in the public transportation sector, like buses, and white and yellow cabs.

Speaking on the Public Security Directorate Radio, Habashneh said that ridesharing apps are not covered by the government’s assistance.

He said the aid will be distributed on public transportation operators in the form of coupons, which will be used to fill fuel at all gas stations.

The value of the subsidy, he said, will vary from one public transportation operator to another, depending on the length of the route. For example, he said buses that travel more than 150kms will be allocated JD200, while yellow cabs will be given JD50.

Habashneh said the support will be granted for six months, disbursed in two payments. He said that more information about the aid coupon and its distribution mechanism will be given soon.

Hadid said his syndicate also rejected LTRC’s mechanism of subsidy distribution. “We suggested that the support comes through coupons given to the vehicle’s license plate number, not for the owner, or the driver because drivers change each day.”

“But LTRC did not even adopt this method,” he contended.

Abla Weshah, LTRC’s director of Media and Communications said the support to drivers “comes with the vehicle number and the name of the vehicle owner.”

She said the owner “is the recipient of the support and he can authorize the driver operating his vehicle.”

“We met more than once to listen to their (syndicate’s) point of view, and we reached a compromise formula to satisfy all parties, and our doors are open to receive any objection and listen to their views on the decision,” she added.

Hadid said that the distinction between taxis and buses in LTRC’s offer “is unfair, given that diesel, which is used by many buses, is cheaper than gasoline.”

As for the distances traveled, a cab travels longer distances of up to 400km per day, which “makes taxis worthy of the same value of the subsidy granted to buses”, he maintained.

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