Moscow authorities have recognized taxis as public transportation and will permit them to use lanes reserved for buses and trolleys starting Sept. 1. Only officially registered cabs—automobiles painted yellow and equipped with a license, meter, GLONASS (Russian GPS) and yellow registration number—will enjoy this privilege.
Gypsy cabs used to dominate the taxi market in Moscow, but this sphere has been regulated since the passing of a special law. However, illegal cabs have not disappeared from Moscow roads. Taxi drivers will soon have another incentive to leave the shadows behind, now that registered taxis have permission to use lanes designated for public transportation.
The fact of the matter is, despite authorities’ efforts, transport conditions in the city remain difficult and traffic jams stretching several miles form daily. For taxi drivers, this means potentially losing a lot of time and profit while stuck in common lanes.
Four hundred sixty special parking spots are being organized for legal taxis, including 100 spaces inside the Boulevard Ring. Only taxis will be allowed to park in these lots. Drivers in normal cars will have to pay a steep fine (3,000 rubles, or about $91) for improper parking.
A legal taxi must be equipped with a fare meter, a GLONASS transmitter and a yellow registration number, and the body of the automobile must be painted yellow. Moscow city authorities plan to implement a standard fare for taxis in the future.
Based on materials from Kommersant.
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