Free ride if taxi meter is not down, says PTA

Monday, October 7, 2019

By Abdulrahman Al-Misbahi

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — The Public Transport Authority (PTA) has made it compulsory for taxi drivers to use the fare meter whenever they are transporting passengers. Erring taxi drivers will be forced to transport passengers free, the PTA has said.

The rule applies to public taxis, family taxis and airport taxis, the PTA stipulated in its updated regulation for organizing taxis and vehicles using ride sharing apps.

The PTA has made it compulsory for taxi drivers to place a warning in front of passengers saying: “If the taxi meter is not operated, then the ride is considered free of charge.” Furthermore, licensed taxi owners will be fined SR3,000 whenever they do not operate the taxi meter at the start of the trip.

The PTA has enabled firms wishing to obtain a license for “family taxi” to own a minimum of five cars only, provided the cars are brand new and have never been registered within the Kingdom or abroad. Family taxis will specialize in transporting passengers and they will be driven by Saudi women.

The PTA has made it conditional that the number of public taxis in the cities of Riyadh, Makkah and Jeddah should be at least 250, and at least 100 public taxis in Madinah and Dammam.

Meanwhile, the minimum number of public taxis in the rest of the regions and governorates will be specified in line with a decision by the president of the PTA.

The PTA has also forbidden “airport taxi” license holders from transporting passengers from cities to the airports, or transporting passengers within cities, governorates and (rural centers. It has restricted the use of taxis for transportation from the airport only to the cities and rural centers via special taxi parks for loading passengers.

The PTA has enabled individuals to use their own cars as airport taxis if they wish, provided they obtain approval from the airport administration and a license from the pertinent authorities.