Taxi Drivers’ Protest on Rustaveli Avenue

Wednesday, taxi drivers were blocking Rustaveli Avenue to contest the upcoming taxi regulations. The same day, Kakha Kaladze, Mayor of Tbilisi, talked about the new taxi reforms at a city administration meeting. He reaffirmed his wish to regulate and restructure the taxi market in Tbilisi. He wants taxis to offer better quality services to the customers and his main reform is to separate taxis in two categories: A and B. The first category will be for regular taxis that will have to carry a taxi sign, be painted in white and will enjoy special free parking spots in the city. All of that will be free of charge but drivers will have to do technical inspections twice a year and will not be able to drive right-hand taxis nor two-door taxis.

As for category B taxis, they will only be able to take passengers via mobile application such as UBER and Taxify and will not be able to take people from the street. However, these drivers will not make modification to their vehicles.

Many taxi drivers are against these reforms and gathered in front of the parliament on Wednesday. The protest was led by the Georgian Labour Party. Taxi drivers wish to be able to drive two-door or right-hand taxis and do not want to pass technical inspections. Some taxi drivers have made loans in bank to be able to finance their vehicle and do not want any constrains to be put on their working car.

Kakha Kaladze answered to the protest by saying that the reforms will continue but that he was open to discuss with taxi drivers. The Labour Party announced a second protest in the beginning of April.


By Gabrielle Colchen

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28 March 2019 13:11