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The Ministry of transport revoke reports of negation between the Ministry and taxi owners associations about the import of duty free yellow taxi imports.

Demissew Benti Public Realtions head of the Ministry told Capital that the Ministry does not have any knowledge of talks to import the yellow taxi’s duty free.

Last week, a spokesperson for O’clock General Trading PLC that represents the 88 taxi owner associations said that a letter is being prepared from the Ministry of Transport to allow the Toyota Avanza’s to be imported duty free.

“People are being mislead with the duty free scheme of the taxi’s, they should know that the Ministry is not in any king of negotiation or discussion for duty free imports of the metered Taxi’s” said Demissew.

Metered taxi service were said be a reality at least in Mekelle, Hawassa and Bahirdar as 5,000 taxi owners prepare to begin service. The owners will trade in their old cars for new Toyota Avanza’s which can carry six passengers. The owners are incorporated into 88 taxi owners associations. They will have their own insurance company and gas stations.

The taxis are equipped with a meter, GPS and radio communication device. They are worth close to 470,000 birr. Customers can hail these taxies through a telephone hotline.

Taxi drivers will have their own personal identification badge that will be required to be displayed inside their vehicles. To ensure safety and good service passengers will be able to lodge complaints about unruly taxi drivers through a contact number posted inside the vehicle and at the back of the taxi.

The government has set the cost of metered taxis at 10 birr per kilometer and the initial fee for getting into the cab at 50 birr. The Ministry of Transport wants to replace older taxi cars in the city with newer ones as cars contribute around 47 percent to carbon dioxide to the atmosphere in Ethiopia.