29 August 2011, 21:00

Georgian oppositionists complain of pressure on fixed-route taxi drivers

The oppositional "Georgian Party" calls on the country's Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) and the Chief Prosecutor's Office (GPO) to react to statements of drivers of Tbilisi minivans, who claim that they are forced to raise the tariffs.

In July, the Tbilisi fleet received new minibuses, each having 16 passenger seats and equipped with air conditioning. It is planned that within the year the capital will receive 3200 more such minibuses to be used as fixed-route taxis. The fare in them is 80 tetris (about 0.50 US dollars).

"From August 26 on they increased the tariff on short routes (earlier already increased up to 60 tetris) up to 80 tetris," said Sofo Khorguani, one of party leaders.

According to her story, drivers deny that they increased tariffs by their own. However, Tbilisi Mayoralty also denies its role in the growth of the fare, the "Georgia Today" reports.

On July 22, the "Georgian Party" addressed the MIA and GPO asking them to find the persons who had used "threats, blackmail or other forms of pressure to force drivers to raise fares."

According to Ms Khorguani, so far, no response has followed; however, she hopes that the above agencies will react this time and tell whether the is investigated, the "News-Georgia" reports.

See earlier report: "In Georgia, opposition clashes with taxi drivers".

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