Officials from Mowasalat, Qatar’s public transport operator, said Sunday that there are enough Karwas on Doha roads and that the public is to blame for the proliferation of illegal taxi drivers.
“It is because of some people, who encourage such practices,” Jassim Saif Al Sulaiti, Mowasalat’s chairman and managing director, said in a press conference, as quoted in the Peninsula.
The chairman also said people who operate illegal taxis will be deported if caught by the authorities. “Virtually, every day such incidents are reported from different areas of the country,” he said, as quoted in the Gulf Times.
In defense of last week’s fare hikes, the Al-Sulati said the company had to cover increasing operating costs, and that a system of a fixed short trip fare is in place in many countries.
He also said a price increase would help drivers who lose time and money when taking people short distances, though not all Karwa drivers agree.
The fare hike has also kicked up fears about an increase in bus fares. Currently, more than 60,000 people use Karwa buses for travel each day and almost double that number ride the buses on weekends.
The Gulf Times reports:
“As of now, I don’t see any possibility of the bus fares going up,” the chairman said. Along with providing cheaper travelling options through buses, the company also wants to strengthen the country’s public transport network, he said.
“That way, our hope is that more people would move to public transport and help decongest traffic on the roads,” he said.
What do you guys think? Are there enough taxis on the road? And is a fare hike justified?