“Hike in crude prices may be good for the government but it has a knock-on effect on the market. Commuters will have to face the brunt. I just started my job and I cannot afford a car yet, and so, I commute by taxi. If the fares keep increasing like this it would become difficult to save anything for my future needs,” mentioned Salim Harith, who just got a job in Muscat.
Taxi drivers say fares in Muscat did not improve for numerous years and the hike now would be justified. “We understand that international crude prices are going up and this will automatically jack up local fuel prices. Many taxi drivers believe fares are still low even though there has been a jump in rates in the past few years. I used to spend RO2 for petrol every day but now I have to spend RO5. If we don’t charge more now it will be difficult to survive,” mentioned Haamid al Selaimi, a taxi owner primarily based in Muscat. Abdullah Hamad, yet another taxi driver, mentioned fares have gone up by a lot more than 50 per cent in just two years but are nevertheless as well much less for producing any profit.
“Around two years ago, we used to charge 200bz from Ruwi till Al Khuwayr and now we charge 400bz. As for engaged taxi service, we used to charge RO1 but now it can go up to RO3. Even though the prices have increased we still don’t make much profit. Everything is expensive now, be it renewal of taxi registration, spare parts and of course fuel. I would appreciate if the government finds an affordable solution for both taxi owners and commuters,” he mentioned.
Another taxi commuter, who wished to stay anonymous, mentioned, “I understand the fares need to be adjusted according to the international fuel prices, but commuters’ interests too should be considered. If the fares keep increasing this way, the number of people using taxis may go down.”
Fuad al Farsi, yet another taxi driver mentioned growing costs might discourage folks from utilizing taxis. “I certainly foresee a drop in passengers. Even a small hike affects us, however taxis remain the most convenient and preferred mode of transport. So, we still have hope,” he mentioned.
Information Source: Muscat Daily