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Tbilisi Gov’t Sets ‘Low Pay’ for Taxi Registration

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, February 13
(TBILISI) - The Tbilisi Mayor’s Office has announced that taxi drivers will have to pay a “very low” sum to register their vehicles as taxicabs.

In January Kaladze stated that registration of cars would allow a safe and comfortable taxi service. However, the Mayor had promised that registration procedures would be free of charge for taxi drivers.

"The first phase of the reform implies issuing a permit document; it will be a simple procedure.

The Parliament of Georgia will adopt a law on the basis of which the Tbilisi City Assembly will issue a relevant act and we will start issuing permits, i.e. registration of taxes. Then we will gradually move on to the second stage of the reform," said Maia Bitadze, deputy Tbilisi Mayor.

The second stage of the reform envisages technical check for taxis, the Mayor’s Office states.

The Deputy Mayor emphasized that the taxi drivers, who refuse to pass the registration, will have to pay fine.

“The registration process will allegedly start from autumn and after some period we will have information how many taxi vehicles function in Tbilisi,” she said.

The opposition has stated that the Tbilisi leadership planned to “grab more money” from people through providing the mandatory registration.

The European Georgia opposition claims that the new regulations for taxis will make the Georgian people “even poorer.”

Member of the party, Goka Gabashvili addressed the government to refuse regulating the taxi system.

“Many countries have deregulated the taxi service to make it more available. If the government really cares about the safety of vehicles, they can just allow the mandatory technical check of all cars in Georgia and the taxis would be among them,” Gabashvili said.

There is no official data on the number of taxi cars in Tbilisi, as due to the high rate of unemployment in Georgia many use their cars as taxis to earn money.