A new study shows thousands of Saudi taxi drivers could suffer as soon as women get the chance to drive their own cars as of next June.
Concerns are rising in Saudi Arabia
that a recent decision by the kingdom to allow women to drive would affect the livelihood of thousands of taxi drivers.
A research conducted by the US-based Frost & Sullivan business consulting firm showed that over 100,000 taxi drivers could suffer once the decision to let women drive takes effect next year.
“Although it’s been some time since conventional taxi drivers started losing female customers to Uber and Careem drivers, both categories of drivers will face tougher times as effective demand is likely to drop, starting next year,” said the report.
“Despite a lot of families in the Kingdom still preferring taxi services as a more comfortable mode of transport, as many as tens of thousands of taxi drivers could struggle next year to keep their businesses afloat,” it added as reported by ArabianBusiness.com.
Saudi Arabian women will be able to apply for driving license from June 2018. This change is expected to deeply impact the landscape of the Saudi passenger car market and the way women population in Saudi Arabia approaches mobility.
Until now, women were largely dependent on family members, conventional taxi drivers or applications like Uber or Careem.
Frost & Sullivan estimated that up to 90,000-150,000 women would get driving licenses in Saudi Arabia annually but initially these numbers can be even higher as many women would rush to pass the driving test.
“Even if 50 percent of women receiving the driving license will opt for owning a car (as opposed to sharing a family car or long-term rental), it would provide a solid boost to the new car market either directly or through used car purchases,” the report noted.