|04 February, 2020

Ride hailing app drivers lament ‘free rein’ of unlicensed company in Jordan

An unlicensed ride-hailing app in Jordan employs over 40,000 drivers, claims a member of the Ride-Hailing Application Drivers’ Dialogue Committee

Volunteers distribute free water and dates to people on the road to break their fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Amman, Jordan June 13, 2016.

Volunteers distribute free water and dates to people on the road to break their fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Amman, Jordan June 13, 2016.

Reuters/Muhammad Hamed

AMMAN - A single unlicensed ride-hailing application company has over 40,000 drivers, while Jordan’s five licensed companies together employ around 13,000 drivers, claimed a member of the Ride-Hailing Application Drivers’ Dialogue Committee (Captain Care).

“This company has been operating for around four years, and the number of their drivers kept growing until recently, when it reached 40,000 operating vehicles,” Captain Care member Samir Akaileh told The Jordan Times on Tuesday.

When asked if the drivers of licensed companies have taken any action, Akaileh said that according to the Transport Ministry, it is the Land and Transport Regulatory Commission’s (LTRC) responsibility to follow up on the issue.

“We sought out all the options, but nothing was done to stop unlicensed apps, neither by the LTRC nor by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, which is supposed to ban those apps,” he noted.

The drivers of licensed transport applications pay JD400 annually to renew their licences, while workers in unlicensed companies do not pay this fee, but are still able to operate, Akaileh said, noting that licensed drivers also struggle with insurance costs, which amount to around JD1,500 annually.

Akaileh confirmed that the default price is 24 piasters for each kilometre for all companies, noting that many are lowering this fee to maintain a competitive edge against the unlicensed company.

“Follow-ups and monitoring on such matters fall under the responsibilities of the LTRC,” Transport Ministry Spokesperson Ali Odeibat told The Jordan Times over the phone.

The Jordan Times attempted to contact LTRC Director General Salah Lozi as well as the director of his office and the transport minister’s consultant Tareq Obeidat, but both were unavailable for comment.

Meanwhile, drivers of ride-hailing applications are claiming that their monthly income dropped to a quarter of what it was before unlicensed companies began operating in the Kingdom.

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