Gov't backs down on taxi fare reform
6 February 2020 - globes
The taxi drivers are hoping that the minister of transport will completely cancel the reform.
After protests by taxi drivers caused postponement of the reform in rates from January 1 to March 2, it has now been decided to suspend it indefinitely. Israel Taxi Drivers Association chairman Yehuda Bar Or claims that it has been agreed to cancel the reform completely.
After holding demonstrations and blocking roads recently, the taxi drivers protested again last Sunday at Kaplan Junction in Tel Aviv. In return for halting the protests, the future of the reform is now in doubt. Although the taxi drivers are talking about their great achievement in having the reform canceled, the Prime Minister's Office said, "Since claims were made of crucial differences in the data on which the reform was based, the prime minister agreed with the minister of finance and the minister of transport that another professional examination of the plan's elements would be conducted." The Prime Minister's Office did not confirm that the reform had been canceled. The taxi drivers are hoping that the minister of transport will sign an order canceling the reform by February 10, leaving the old calculation method in place.
The reform in taxi fares was due to become effective on January 1, but its implementation was delayed following the drivers' protest and the prime minister's intervention in the matter. Under the new calculation method, taxi fares will consist of a starting price, a price according to the length of the trip, and a price for the time of the journey, plus additions, such as for ordering the ride by phone. The fixed price will be eliminated, with the fare being determined solely by the taxi meter. The new beginning price with be NIS 10.50. NIS 1.70 will be charged for each kilometer and each minute of a daytime journey, with the charge being higher at night and on weekends.
According to the Taxi Drivers Association, the new calculation method reduces the drivers' profits by 30% on inter-urban trips, while the fares for intra-urban trips will rise by only 60%. Bar Or claims that because of the change in the calculation method, the reform will cost the drivers NIS 100 million per month.