Saudi women can now drive family taxis

New regulations approved by the Public Transport Authority (PTA) will now allow women in Saudi Arabia to drive family taxis.

Under the new rules, the licences for the family taxis are issued to registered companies as opposed to individuals, with only qualified Saudi women allowed to drive them.

Female drivers are prohibited from taking on passengers in the absence of an adult Saudi woman, while men and young male children are not allowed to occupy front seats.

According to PTA, all licensed transport companies must house an electronic payment system and GPS navigation. The cars should feature a screen displaying data such as the plate number, driver name and company name and contact details.

Companies involved in family transport must have a minimum fleet of 10 vehicles, which should not be over five years old.

This year’s lifting of the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia, as well as recovering oil prices and economic policies, will result in an eight percent per annual increase of passenger vehicles sales until 2022, a new report by global research company Aranca showed.

Saudi Arabia’s automotive sector is expected to rapidly transform as 20% of its female population – about three million drivers – are expected to be added to the kingdom’s roads by 2020, the report said.

It added that in addition to new car sales, the positive impact of a new customer segment over the next 1-3 years will be felt in the kingdom’s automotive aftermarket, which was valued at $7.4 billion in 2017.

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