PTA: Passenger need not pay the price if taxi driver fails to operate fare meter

August 15, 2021

Saudi Gazette report

Saleh Al-Zuwaid, spokesman of the Saudi Public Transport Authority (PTA), emphasized that if the taxi driver fails to comply with his duty of operating the fare meter, the passenger need not pay the charges as the trip will be deemed free.

Addressing a program in Al-Ekhbariya Television channel, he emphasized that fare meter is one of the technical requirements for public taxis set by PTA, the regulator of public transport in the Kingdom.

“There is a fixed price system for taxi vehicles and the fare meter is linked to PTA’s electronic systems. Through these systems, we guarantee the quality of services provided to beneficiaries, and a higher level of comfort and safety when they use these means of transport,” he said.

He added, “In the event that the driver does not commit to operating the fare meter, the beneficiary is entitled to get the trip for free of charge.”

Al-Zuwaid said that in its capacity as the regulator of land, sea and rail transport activities in the Kingdom, PTA carries out periodic and continuous inspection tours to ensure the compliance by the licensed facilities with the application of regulations and legislation regulating transport services in the Kingdom.

“A total of 11,690 violations were detected during more than 84,000 field inspections, carried out by the supervisory teams at the authority, during the month of July.”

Al-Zuwaid said the most prominent among these violations was practicing the activity without obtaining an operating card from PTA.

“The authority is issuing this card after ensuring the legal status of the vehicle, the safety of its technical inspections and the validity of its insurance.

“Another major violation was related to practicing activity after exceeding the approved operational life of vehicles as there is an approved age for vehicles engaged in the provision of various types of services,” he said.

He said that among the violations that were detected in July include failure to comply with the technical equipment stipulated in the regulations, such as not installing front and rear guardrails on trucks, and not placing vehicle indicator plates.

The operational age of public taxi vehicles and educational transport vehicles has been set at 5 years. The operational age of educational transport buses is 10 years while that of trucks should not exceed more than 20 years.

The spokesman said that 3,600 violations were found with regard to the operation of taxis during the month of July. Some of the violations related to operating cards while some others pertaining to the illegal acts of certain vehicles.

The violations also included exceeding operational life of taxis than the allowed five-year period.

“The five-year operational life has been approved to ensure the quality of the vehicles used, whether in public taxis or taxis based on applications, and one of the violations is the lack of technical equipment and commitment to it, including the fare meter,” he pointed out.

The spokesman said that the activity of public taxis in green color is one of the activities regulated by the authority, as it is a vital sector that meets the needs of a large segment of the society as well as serving tourists.

The authority has set a number of technical requirements and equipment that are required in taxi vehicles, such as electronic payment, electronic screens, fare meter, apart from free Internet service in taxis inside airports, he added.

August 15, 2021
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