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Taxi meters

Recently, in Mahboula, the drivers of the taxis which I hailed to get a ride said their meters were not working. According to the information I have all the taxis should have these meters, which should be in working condition and the fare should be according to them. Every week I run into the same situation.

Because of this problem I have just decided to start renting a car on my day off from work. I have noted the cab numbers that did not have working meters. Most of these taxis are from the same company. What is the solution to this problem and what can we do about it?

Name withheld
Answer:
Since the start of May, the Kuwait Interior Ministry has started a campaign targeting taxis plying without meters on Kuwait roads. It has also taken very strict action against all those taxi owners who are violating its instructions on the issue.

The taxi meters were introduced in Kuwait some years ago but the instructions on the issue were never seriously implemented until very recently after complaints really began to pile up. In the current campaign, police officers in civil clothes are flagging down taxis and acting as normal passengers.

They then ask how much the fare will be according to the taxi meter and if the taxi driver says the meter is not working or the charges will not be according to the meter, he is at the spot cited for violation of traffic laws. In some cases the drivers have been detained or their vehicles confiscated. If you find such taxis, you can complain against them on the Interior Ministry website or to the Traffic Department.

But please remember this can’t be done anonymously...you have to provide details, like your Civil ID number etc. You could also be asked to record your statement. In this way you can help the Interior Ministry boost its campaign to weed out all such taxi drivers/companies. In the meantime, you can also help by refusing to ride in taxis which don’t use the meters.

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