Taxi Sharing to Lower Fares, Traffic Congestion

YERUSHALAYIM -
An Israeli taxi with roof insignia. (Kobi Gideon/Flash90)
An Israeli taxi with roof insignia. (Kobi Gideon/Flash90)

Taxi ride-sharing in Israel won government approval on Tuesday, a measure which it said would lower costs for travelers without harming the taxi industry, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The Socioeconomic Cabinet unanimously approved a proposal for “cooperative taxi rides,” special taxis for people agreeing to share their trips with others going to nearby destinations.

The new program, also aimed at easing bottlenecks, was put forward by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon.

“In addition to lowering prices for the consumer, the service would make taxi use more worthwhile in comparison to private car use, thereby bringing about a decrease in congestion on the roads,” a statement from the ministry said.

The plan calls for sharing taxis by advance order only, not by street pickup. Passengers will be able to preview the cost of their trip – significantly lower than that of a private taxi ride – as well as estimated pickup and arrival times.

Until now, only two options were open to passengers: the use of a taxi on a fixed, licensed route, or a “special” taxi taking the passenger to the destination according to a meter rate.