The Finance Ministry on Tuesday announced that banks had received a total of 34,561 fresh applications from taxi owners wishing to participate in the government-sponsored “new taxi” program, of which 23,810 had been approved.
The initiative allows taxi owners to substitute their aging and decrepit vehicles with brand new taxicabs through special bank loans to be repaid in affordable monthly installments.
According to Finance Minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali, there are currently more than 47,000 taxis in Cairo that are more than 20 years old. “Now, we have 11,608 brand new cabs on the streets with another 8,000 ready to go,” he said.
Boutros-Ghali went on to point to a recent study conducted by the Cairo Traffic Department indicating that pollution in the capital from automobile exhaust had fallen by 22 percent since last year, while the number of road accidents involving taxis had dropped by 6.5 percent.
The study further revealed that Cairo traffic jams had been reduced by 4 percent within the same period.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.