By Shamsi Saadati
On Sunday, June 23, a group of bus and minibus drivers gathered in front of Tehran’s city council to protest against traffic control tolls. New rules require bus drivers to pay a toll when they enter the traffic control area in Tehran.
While objecting to the new bill, the protesting bus drivers chanted: “Tolls don’t apply to public transportation.”
Pointing to the three-fold increase in the price of spare parts, the protesters described the new toll as an added burden on bus drivers who are trying to make ends meet.
During the last two years, Iranian bus and truck drivers also protested against the rising cost of spare parts, insurance subsidies, high commission fees and other expenditures. In 2018, truck drivers in dozens of cities went on lengthy strikes because of the regime’s lack of response to their demands.
Drivers are one of many segments of the Iranian society who are protesting against the regime over its mismanagement of the country’s economy, which is directly affecting their livelihoods. Teachers, students, workers and retired public sector workers have held similar protests in the past months.