Cowboy Taxis Sign of Crisis

Khurshed Durakhsh reports on attempts by the Dushanbe authorities to clamp down on unlicensed taxis.

Cowboy Taxis Sign of Crisis

Khurshed Durakhsh reports on attempts by the Dushanbe authorities to clamp down on unlicensed taxis.

Friday, 22 May, 2009
In a sign of the times, many car owners have taken to picking up passengers to earn some income as Tajikistan feels the effects of global economic crisis.



In response, the municipal authorities and traffic police in the capital are conducting what they call “raids” to stop and check unmarked taxis.



Taxis have to be of fairly recent manufacture and carry proper markings, while the drivers have to have an operating license, be over 21 and have driven for over three years. Many of the unlicensed drivers are breaking all these rules.



Young men clearly younger than 21 can often be seen ferrying paying customers, many of whom prefer to take a ride in an older car because they expect to pay less.



Asked why he did not take a proper licensed yellow taxi, one Dushanbe resident said, “They charge too much - where would I get the money? And there’s a crisis on.”
Tajikistan
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