IRAN: Taxi Drivers in Dehdasht Protest Low Rates
By Mohammad Sadat Khansari
Taxi drivers have held strikes and protests for the second time this month in the Iranian central city of Dehdasht due to the low taxi rate.
The latest protest took place in front of the city's municipality on June 25, according to the state-run Tasnim news agency.
The taxi drivers have protested throughout the last year due to the increase of inflation rate, high rate of all sectors and depreciation of cars in comparison to taxi rates.
In the past two years, the approved taxi rate per person has been up to 5,000 rials and the personal cab from any part of the city of Dehdasht to another part is up to 18,000 rials.
Due to rising prices, taxi drivers have asked for 20% increase in rates from 5,000 to 7,000 rials. Yet authorities refused to fulfill this demand at first. After a long struggle, taxi drives, agreed to not ask for more raises if the rates if the 20% increase was accepted. As a result, the municipality council accepted to increase rate of 7,000 rials and 25,000 rials for personal cabs.
After less than a year and due to the increase of prices of goods, and the increasing costs of cars’ depreciation, the taxi drivers of Dehdasht asked for 30% increase of taxi rates which was denied firmly by the regime.
Jafar Nikbakht, the governor of the Iranian central province Kohgiloye, said: "The Islamic council of the city of Dehdasht asked to increase the rate and we agreed on 20% increasing for two years. Yet, this year we added and additional 1,000 rials, and under no circumstances will we increase the rate more than that.”
Taxi drivers are not the only community protesting against rising prices and declining wages. In the past year, truck drivers across Iran have held nationwide protests and strikes on several occasions.