Passengers get out of their vehicles, scared of the taxis

Taxi vehicle at Macedonia Gate / Photo: "Sloboden Pechat" - Dragan Mitreski

Since the capital is living in unprecedented traffic chaos, the work of taxi drivers has increased, but passengers are not satisfied with the long journey to their destination. Sasho Rajchanovski, president of the Taxi Transport Group - Skopje, tells "Sloboden Pechat" that it is happening more and more often that the passenger gets into the vehicle and gets out of it after only a few hundred meters. Rough calculations show that if you get stuck in a queue like this from the Airport to the Center, you will have to spend up to 1.000 denars, say some of the taxi drivers, recalling that there were days when ten meters were covered in 15 minutes.

-Since there are no private buses, we should have our hands full, but imagine how it was for us these days, when there was no "mercy" even for the ambulance vehicles. Some of the colleagues did not accept tours, because it was impossible to break through the chaos - says a Skopje taxi driver.

The president of the Taxi Transportation Group agrees with the statement that there has been traffic chaos for a long time. He says that they will submit a proposal to the mayor Danela Arsovska with the simplest solution for taxi transportation, but does not reveal other details. Neither the citizens, nor us as businessmen, it is not easy these days, adds Rajchanovski.

- If someone planned to spend, for example, 200 denars for taxi transportation to their final destination, and the taxi meter initially hit 70-80 denars, it is clear that they will not get far in this traffic chaos. Congestion, non-driving of private buses, blockades and protests are "devastating" for business, but also for citizens' pockets. Such situations have become more numerous this year, so passengers have started to leave, even though they have not spent even a third of their journey by taxi. This means that the colleagues have to stay in the traffic, and their tours fail with this kind of driving on empty. And now imagine how patient the colleagues who provide their livelihood as taxi drivers have to be, when they stand stuck for hours in the streets", Rajchanovski explains.

Even if it were not for the high fuel prices, dug-up streets and roadblocks, the issue of unlicensed vehicles without taxi meters and unregistered taxi drivers has remained unresolved for years.

"At the moment, 4.000 vehicles drive through the streets of Skopje, and a very small percentage of them are licensed. The number of employees is several times lower than the actual number of taxi drivers who work illegally. Then why do we have laws, decisions, regulations that regulate taxi transportation, if they are not respected - asks Rajchanovski.

By the way, after 11 years, since August, the people of Skopje are using more expensive taxis. The first tariff is 40 denars at the start, 25 denars for each kilometer passed and 300 denars for waiting in place for one hour. The second is 50 denars starting, 30 denars for each kilometer passed and 420 denars waiting in place for one hour and the third tariff is 60 denars starting, 35 denars for each kilometer passed and 420 denars waiting in place for one hour.

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