Thursday, 25 July 2013

Riyadh Airport Taxi Shinanigans

Have you heard the latest taxi shinanigans at the Riyadh airport?
An Irish friend who recently flew in told us this one.

Basically, a Saudi Taxi driver will, upon capturing an unsuspecting traveler in the car, ask for a ridiculous amount of fare to be paid in advance.  The passenger will likely hand over the cash (unless he's averse to being ripped off, in which case he will go find another taxi).

The Saudi will then drive about two miles down the road and pull over where another taxi, driven by a non-Saudi is waiting.  The passenger will then be transferred, whether he wants to or not, to the waiting taxi.
The Saudi driver will hand a few SAR to the new driver, pocket the rest of the cash, then turn around and return to the airport.

Why, you may ask, does the non-Saudi driver wait down the road?  Why not just pick up a passenger at the airport?  Because non-Saudi drivers are not allowed to pick up passengers at the airport, that is only the realm of Saudi drivers which means that any trips non-Saudi taxi's make out to the airport are dry runs back to the city.

I guess someone figured this latest idea was a win-win for all concerned.
- Saudi taxi driver does least work and gets reasonable pay.
- Non-Saudi does most work, gets paid.
- Passenger gets delivered.

Do you think this entrepreneurial?
Or is this yet another good reason to regulate taxi companies in Saudi Arabia?

Ka Kite,

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