Kurdistan Region’s Duhok province embraces London cabs
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Until recently, London-style taxi cabs could only have been seen in the Kurdistan Region on TV screens, but the ongoing globalization of commerce has led to the characteristic vehicles being seen around the province of Duhok.
Haji Ahmjed first brought the so-called Hackney cabs to Duhok after one of his friends living in the UK suggested it, he told Kurdistan 24 while standing between a wine-colored and a black cab.
“I previously saw these taxicabs on Facebook and car shows which are very nice,” said Amjed, who explained that his friend sparked a business idea that he carried out.
In the beginning, the idea was to drive them as taxicabs or hire drivers for them, but there were some factors that made this less than desirable. Instead, he decided to import 10 cabs to Duhok to see if he could sell them.
“People come and watch them. Some hire the cabs for weddings or other occasions,” Amjed added.
The cabs have not been utilized as taxis so far in the province as they need the government’s permission, especially because they do not share the normal khaki-colored paint to distinguish them from personal cars.
Traffic authorities have currently halted the process of adding new taxis due to the large numbers of them already licensed.
These cars, however, are especially suitable for passengers with special needs and they can be converted to feature expanded doorways, helping them get in easier.
“People are interested in these cabs. They approach us and ask for their prices,” Zakariyah Amjed, a cab owner, told Kurdistan 24.
“Some of them take photos with the car,” he added.
Kurdistan Region residents typically use taxis as their main form of public transportation, rather than buses or trains, which the Region so far does not offer.
Environmentalist groups and authorities repeatedly warn against the increased risk of air pollution due to heavy reliance on personal vehicles instead of utilizing a public transportation system.
Editing by John J. Catherine