The state-run public transport company, Mowasalat, is taking a closer look at the possibility of raising taxi fares from next year to take care of what it says is higher inflation and rising maintenance costs.
The chairman of the board of directors of Mowasalat, Jassim Saif Al Sulaiti, said studies are being conducted to assess if taxi fares can be revised upwards from next year.
He said the minimum fare was QR1 in 1970 and was revised to QR2 35 years later, in 2005. The minimum fare at present is QR4.
And chances are it might be raised further next year. Inflation and higher costs of maintenance are prompting Mowasalat, which runs Karwa cabs, to study fare revision plans, he hinted.
The company has plans to soon introduce hybrid buses — to be run on diesel as well as electricity. The buses are to be inaugurated during National Day celebrations, he said in an interview to Al Sharq.
“Later, we will be raising the efficiency of our taxi services and reviewing the entire public transport plan,” said the chairman.
A new electronic ticketing system is to be introduced in Mowasalat buses from next year in collaboration with a Turkish company, he pointed out.
“We have already signed the contract with the Turkish company,” he added.
About the Karwa brand of buses that are specially designed for Karwa, he said 80 of them had already been sold, locally as well as to overseas customers.
About new workshops and maintenance centres being built, he said some 70 to 80 percent of the work was already over and the remaining would hopefully be complete by the year-end.
Mowasalat has plans to launch another taxi company next year, he said, adding that the project would attract a number of investors.
The investment in infrastructure development has been to the tune of QR600m over the past two years, said the chairman. This does not include the costs of the Al Khor and Al Wakra projects.
The Al Khor project cost between QR120m and QR150m, while the Al Wakra project is still under study.
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