Addis Abeba welcomed 836 meter taxis today at an inauguration ceremony held at Mesqel Square.
26 share companies, organized from taxi owners associations, had the permit to import 1,163 cars duty free and will start the service next week with the 836 cabs.
The taxis are equipped with a cab meter, GPS and a radio communication device.
Customers can hail these taxis through a telephone hotline. The Ministry of Transport is preparing the tariff for the taxi fares and residents of Addis Abeba will have access to the service next week.
ZayRide, a local IT firm, has inked a deal to facilitate the payment of taxi fares for the newly delivered meter taxis, with M-Birr. This will allow users to make payment anywhere they are using their mobile gadgets.
Fifteen new meter taxis imported by Addis Meter Taxi are due to hit the streets of Addis Abeba soon. They were unveiled on August 13, 2016, with the cabs featuring big boots, a Global Positioning System (GPS), CCTV, television and other new features.
O’clock General Trading has imported the cars on behalf of the association at a cost of 6.9 million Br without duty.
Even though the service will launch with just 15 Toyota Avanza branded cars, the company plans to have another 35 soon.
Although the taxis primarily give service for tourists arriving at Bole Airport, it will also serve the general public based on the kilometres and coverage time of the travel.
“This is the first in the country,” said Ahmedin Mohammed, General Manager of O’clock. “The government should encourage more investments of this kind.”
Addis Meter Taxi is a Private Limited Company founded by fifty investors in 2015 with an investment capital of nearly 25 million.