Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu has announced that he will submit his proposal to introduce 5,000 more taxis in the megacity to the municipality's Transportation Coordination Center (UKOME) on June 25.
"All Istanbul residents, including taxi drivers, want a service that befits a world city. The current system is making a couple of hundred people happy, whereas millions are suffering. We are taking the first step to attain the standards that befit Istanbul and are bringing our new taxi proposal to UKOME tomorrow," İmamoğlu wrote on his social media account on June 24.
Taksi emekçileri dahil tüm İstanbullular bir dünya şehrine yakışan hizmet istiyorlar. Mevcut düzen bir kaç yüz kişiyi mutlu ederken, milyonlar yıllardır mağdur. İstanbul’a yakışan standartları sağlamak için yarın ilk adımı atıyoruz ve UKOME'ye yeni taksi teklifimizi getiriyoruz. pic.twitter.com/G20ybJQWFs— Ekrem İmamoğlu (@ekrem_imamoglu) June 24, 2020
Earlier this month, İmamoğlu shared his plan to raise the number of taxi licenses in the city, which has remained unchanged for years. He said that the current 17,395 licenses in the city were not sufficient for the megacity and pushed residents to other alternatives such as "pirate taxis."Taxi drivers criticize Istanbul mayor's plan to raise number of licenses
Taxi drivers however severely lashed out at İmamoğlu's plan saying that "driving taxis is not the municipality's job" as the new taxis will be owned by the municipality.
“At the moment, taxi drivers can’t even afford tea and are unable to bring bread back to home. They’re driving around hungry. Driving taxis is not the municipality’s job,” said Fahrettin Can, the head of the Istanbul Airport Taxi Drivers Cooperative.
Taxi licenses are costly and drivers usually pay a daily fee to license owners to drive their vehicles.
With high taxes inflating the price of gasoline and relatively low cab fares, taxi drivers in Istanbul work long hours for relatively low pay, a situation the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated.