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Home / Opinion / Living with UT: Why struggle with illegal taxi dri...

Living with UT: Why struggle with illegal taxi drivers is ineffective?

Recently, trying to "catch" a taxi I caught myself thinking that I would love to have got a car of ivory color with identification checkers on the roof.

It is quite possible that this choice was caused by the recent conversation with a taxi driver of one of these machines. He talked about life of taxi fleets, control of technical condition of the running vehicles and driver's health - care about security in general.

- Recently I went out of the fleet and the technician said that one of the rear lights is not working. I tried to explain that'll come in the first workshop, and the answer was - wait, everything will be fixed. And I was allowed to go only after replacing the light bulb. I went out of the park half an hour later, but it was better for everyone and for me - the driver Maxim Kharlamov says. – A run is allowed only after medical examination when a doctor has measured pressure, temperature, made sure that a driver is in perfect health.

Attitude of the fleet to the work was felt not only from the driver’s words. The car was obviously in good repair, high level of driver training, service culture. It can be seen that they cherish the license without which passenger transportation is prohibited in Uzbekistan.

Maybe I finally gave up in so-called “hitches”. It came to that they began to stop more frequently than buses: they stop in front of the each long-arm on the roadside in search of a companion. Of course everything can be understood, but when you are offered to sit fifth in the four-passenger car – it is out of all reason.

Sitting in a hitch you do not know what to expect.

Recently I went to work exactly half an hour before the start of the working day assuming to take a "hitch" or a taxi. The first a "hitch" has come with one passenger who was clearly against seating next to someone else, and that is his right because he paid for "taxi" and not for bus. However, the driver got his own way. On the road it turned out that we were out of the way. It has been necessary to turn off the road in order to get me to the right place. The second passenger insisted to be taken the first, and I think he was right. As a result, we had to make a big detour: we were going down Navoiy Street which is divided by a special safety fence in the midst. The driver did not like it obviously, and when the other passenger has got off, I had to listen to so much foul language against someone who just wanted to get for what he paid, which made my mood worse. Even worse it became when I got grue from the superior for the late come while I have paid for a "fast trip".

The other time I took a hitch with which we were clearly not on the way, and it was evident from the fact that the driver was very nervous. The final was also “stunning”. We were on the second lane of a four-lane road, exactly in the middle, and the driver having listened to the request for stop has not reached the side of the road and asked me to get off right in the middle of the road while staying at a traffic light.... And this was despite the fact that there were a lot of cars on the road.

"Hitches" is clearly not up to safety. Chasing a client they are often blame for accidents on roads.

My opinion on the issue of bringing discipline to roads coincides with the state one – you need to use services of those who have license, which means taxi fleets.

But why the ongoing raids against illegals carrying out by the road safety department together with tax and other authorities are ineffective?

The reason is obvious: capacities of all taxi fleets are still not enough despite the fact that their number grows by leaps and bounds. Demand for the services is clearly exceeding supply.

It will take a long time to wait until the situation will be stabilized through development of taxi fleets ­– the problem is needed to be solved now. A huge resource in the fight against “hitches” – is involvement in transportation of passengers of those who has a car and wish to work in this market. That's what those who drive a taxi illegally at their own risk say about it.

- Today, anyone having a car can be employed in a taxi fleet and work there. But there are a lot of nuances which prevent to legalize all illegal drivers. And it is not only about "chief-worker" relationship, but also technical side. A car should be repainted mandatory to work in a taxi fleet: in Tashkent – into ivory color, in the regions – into the yellow. I do not want to do it, I like my car, and why should I spend money for such a ridiculous procedure, after all the main thing – is good technical condition - Rustam Shagalov says confidently and proposes to ease the current rules not to repaint a car.

In a conversation with "illegals" we have heard another sensible suggestion, which could be the solution of the existing problems. There must be an alternative to taxi fleets in the face of private entrepreneurs, which is not possible under the current regulations. Drivers offer to allow private drivers to operate in taxi market, and at the same time to introduce to them strict rules for licensing and monitoring activity by the tax authorities and the road safety department. Among the illegal taxi drivers there are many those who would like to come out of the shadow and work according to the law, nor for chief nor for taxi fleet, but for themselves.

Obviously, the adjustments to the regulations will enhance those who can not realize their full potential today.

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