Taxi license plate prices drop by 10 pct in Istanbul after plans to increase number of cabs
Taxi license plate prices in the city decreased by nearly 10 percent following the announcement of a plan to increase the number of taxis operating in Istanbul, the country’s largest metropolis with a population of over 16 million.
The average price of a taxi license plate was around 2.2 million liras ($321,000) before the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality announced it would increase the number of cabs operating in the city. After the move was announced, the price decreased to 2 million liras ($292,000) on June 17.
On June 12, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu said the number of taxis will be increased under a new project and that the owner of the taxis would be the municipality.
According to the new project, taxi drivers will work wearing uniforms and in three-shift systems, and payments can be made with Istanbulkart, a digital card used in public transportation in the city.
However, car sellers at the Bağcılar Auto Center, where taxi license plates are sold in Istanbul, said the decision had surprised them. They said the market was suffering from turmoil, calling for a revision of the decision.
Gürsoy Atlı, the owner of a company at the Auto Center, claimed that even if such a decision was made, the executive would be stopped by taxi dealers.
Atlı claimed that the new taxis would only lead to a further congested Istanbul traffic, if the decision goes through.
“The authority to decide whether the people of Istanbul need more taxis or not are not up to a few taxi plate dealers at Bağcılar Auto Center,” İmamoğlu said.
“Nobody can stop us in our aims to provide the best service to the tourists, the visitors, the people of Istanbul and for the safety of the livelihoods of dealers,” he added.
There are 17,395 licensed taxis operating and new taxi plates have not been on sale since the 1960’s with the exception of provisionary decisions in Istanbul, meaning the number of taxis on Istanbul’s roads had not changed in over half a century.