Transport Bureau fines unlicensed ‘taxis’

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The Addis Ababa City Transport Bureau is taking serious measures against those who use their personal vehicles to provide paid transport services.
Starting a couple of weeks ago, the transport bureau of the city set out confiscating plates of personal vehicles that are being used as taxis, according to sources.
Wogayehu Assefa, who is the leader of the Main Transport Administration Work Process Owner at the city’s transport bureau, said that the punishment has always been enforced but the volume differs because of the number of offenders and other related issues.
As a result of the use of personal vehicles as taxis, the government is not only losing tax revenue explains Wogayehu. “It is not only an issue of license and tax. It is also a security issue, as many people are getting robbed,” he said.
According to him, many women who have come home from the UAE have allegedly been kidnapped and robbed.
Those who really want to provide transport services need to get a license so as to ease the security issue and thereby enable the government get due taxes, according to him.“People need to have a proper license and in fact pay due taxes to give the service,” he said. “If they don’t do that, they are simply illegal and they should be punished for what they do,” he told Capital.
Abiding by the rules doesn’t require too much, according to him. “It might take from 300 birr to 400 birr to get the license and the tax isn’t really that much,” he said.
In fact, the licensing has other requirements as well. “Their cars must be 2002 model or newer,” he said. 
“We don’t want vehicles that stop here and there and now and then with guests in them,” he said.  Most personal vehicles in Addis Ababa are too old to meet the requirement, though.
Some people, who don’t use their personal vehicles as taxis, have claimed that they have been stranded for hours by police when they went out at night to enjoy themselves.
Wogayehu claims that the bureau receives tips before confiscating plates or punishing individuals. “For instance, we received more than 120 plate numbers of personal vehicles that are used as taxis around Bole area,” he said. “And if innocent people are stranded because of potential misbehavior or misconduct of traffic police [which rarely happens] they can inform traffic offices instead of trying to resolve the issue in inappropriate ways [corruption].”