It is likely that taxis driven by Saudi women could be seen zooming past on the Kingdom’s roads from June 2018, when women in Saudi will be officially allowed to drive cars. The Public Transport Authority (PTA) is busy making regulations that could also allow women to work as taxicab drivers.
Rumaih Al-Rumaih, chairman of the PTA said that currently rules and regulations are underway to enable Saudi women to drive taxis that will transport only female passengers, according to Saudi Gazette.
Al-Rumaih added the car rental offices will be completely localized and that the authority is working with the Ministry of Labour and Social Development to complete the nationalization of jobs in public transport sector.
Moreover, the same regulations governing the licensing of men who work in transportation will be applicable to women taxi drivers, said PTA spokesman Abdullah Al-Mutairi.
Though the official announcement is still pending, Uber and Careem have already planned to hire women drivers in Saudi. Careem has received thousands of applications from Saudi women who want to become drivers. “We may hire over 10,000 female captains (drivers) by June 2018. Female captains will help us provide a better service to many women who want to travel but refuse to take cabs driven by men,” Abdullah Elyas, co-founder and chief privacy officer at Careem was quoted as saying by CNN.
While, Uber’s general manager in Saudi Arabia, Zeid Hreish said, “We will partner with necessary stakeholders to facilitate the paperwork, training access, and access to vehicles, including access to driving schools run by third party partners.”
Not only this, Uber will also initiate ‘listening sessions’ for women in Riyadh to help the company in shaping priorities and upcoming plans for women in the Kingdom, besides addressing social and legal problems that women could face when driving.