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Gov’t subsidy not enough — taxi union

By Batool Ghaith - Aug 04,2022 - Last updated at Aug 04,2022

The taxis sector has been suffering and is ‘destroyed’ due to the extremely high operational costs, according to the Transport Services and Taxi Owners Union (File photo)

AMMAN — The taxis sector has been suffering and is “destroyed” due to the extremely high operational costs, in addition to the “futility” of the subsidy allocated by the government which was announced recently, according to the President of the Transport Services and Taxi Owners Union Ahmad Abu Haidar.

The government on Tuesday announced a subsidy for taxis with an amount of JD50 per month, which is approximately 170 piasters per day.

Abu Haidar told The Jordan Times that the subsidy amount was “shockingly scarce”, as it barely covers gas amid the fuel price hikes.

“As a union, we completely refuse the subsidy as it is not enough at all and we are not satisfied with it. It is not even enough to fill two fuel tanks for taxi drivers. One hundred and seventy piasters per day is nothing compared to the daily operating expenses the drivers have to pay,” Abu Haidar said.

He also indicated that the subsidy for the public buses and other vehicles is “not enough nor up to expectations”.

The union president called on the government to reconsider the subsidy amount. “We had a meeting a couple months ago with the government represented by the Minister of Transport and the Transport Authority and we clearly demanded a subsidy of at least JD3 daily for taxi drivers,” he added.

Abu Haidar renewed the union’s demand for a daily subsidy of JD3, or a gas tank subsidy daily with JD3 which goes to the driver directly.

Motasem Al Zaben, a taxi driver, emphasised the union’s demand to increase the subsidy amount.

“We expected the subsidy to actually help us but that amount barely covers our daily expenses for gas and warranty,” Zaben told The Jordan Times on Thursday.

Zaben voiced his disappointment with the government’s decision, stressing that the taxi sector is in “dire need” for support.

“We are struggling immensely, I have some days where I barely make revenues due to the very high fuel price hikes. We need all the support we can get,” he added.

Ahmed Allan, another taxi driver, also called on the government to increase support for them. “We appreciate the government’s efforts but it is in vain if it will not actually help us, it should be in line with the price hikes,” Allan told The Jordan Times.

He also mentioned that the smart transport applications also “ruin” the taxis’ business. 

“This is another reason why we are desperate for support. The subsidy needs to be at least doubled. I cannot buy a bottle of water with 170 piasters a day, ” he added.


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