‘Centralized system’ for taxis in Turkey proposed amid Uber-taxi tension

‘Centralized system’ for taxis in Turkey proposed amid Uber-taxi tension

İpek Özbey – ISTANBUL
‘Centralized system’ for taxis in Turkey proposed amid Uber-taxi tension

Amid recent tension between Uber and taxi drivers in Turkey, Mustafa Ilıcalı, parliament’s transportation commission spokesperson, has proposed a system envisaging the administering of all taxis from a “centralized system.”

Ilıcalı said he would prepare a legislative proposal on the issue as soon as possible and then submit it to parliament.

Tension between regular taxi drivers and Uber drivers recently spiked in Istanbul, with a series of violent attacks and demonstrations carried out by the former.

Ilıcalı told daily Hürriyet that Uber has “filled a void” resulting from the fact that the current number of regular taxis in service, 18,000, is not enough to meet demand.

His proposal to resolve the situation is a “centralized dispatch system” to be operated by a single center, which he named a “local and national taxi limited company.’”

“We’ll calculate Istanbul’s taxi need. If there is a need for 40,000 vehicles then we will make current taxi owners a partner in this taxi limited company, with the value of their license plates. Maybe in the future this company will be traded at the Istanbul stock exchange,” Ilıcalı said.

The company’s shares will also be given to taxi service companies such as Uber, in proportion to the number of vehicles they provide in traffic, he added.

“As a limited company, this will be a system that will be operate from a single center with professional executives and its own shares,” he said, adding that a “strong inspection mechanism” will be established to oversee the management of the company.”

As a result, passengers will no longer have to use different applications to find a taxi but rather there will be “joint software” to access the network.

“For the state to oversee this process, the inspection mechanism should be strengthened,” Ilıcalı said.

“We’ll open an academic center at a university for taxi drivers and expose them to full capacity training. This will just be an ordinary education, it will be like that given in [the German city of] Frankfurt,” he added.