Call for Phasing Out Paykan Taxis

Call for Phasing Out  Paykan TaxisCall for Phasing Out  Paykan Taxis

Currently, some 5,300 Paykan taxis are plying the streets of cities, said the head of the Civil Engineering Committee of Tehran’s City Council.

“This is while all these vehicles have worked well above their standard limits,” Eqbal Shakeri added, while stressing that a total of 17,000 and 3,000 dilapidated taxis and buses respectively must be removed from the public transportation fleet, Fars News Agency reported.

Criticizing the recent auto loan scheme executed by the government, Shakeri said Tehran Municipality was supposed to receive 30 trillion rials ($815 million at market exchange rate) for overhauling the public transportation systems this year, but the government allocated this amount in the form of loans for purchasing passenger cars.

The government implemented the auto loan scheme early November with an interest rate of between 16-18% and a payback period of seven years that was soon reduced to four years.

The plan stipulated that no more than 110,000 people would be allowed to take the loan with a ceiling of 250 million rials ($7,120 at market exchange rate) and amounting to 80% of the car price. This number of cars was sold in only six days.

The official noted that with the influx of these cars, the plan will give rise to a “traffic tsunami” in the capital and worsen its pollution problem.

Shakeri added that short-term solutions will not prove effective in the face of Tehran’s pollution crisis and the issue should be tackled fundamentally.

“Improving the quality of fuel and locally-manufactured cars is a good point to start from,” he said.

Produced for over 40 years, Iran’s former national car Paykan is expected to retire as taxis. Tehran Municipality announced the ban in September.

“Following an enactment by Transportation and Traffic Organization of Tehran Municipality, all Paykan taxis were to be prohibited from commuting in the Traffic Zone starting 22 Dec. 2015,” said Meysam Mozaffar, the head of Taxi Driving Organization, IRNA reported at the time.

“Of all the dilapidated taxis in Tehran’s taxi fleet, 6,400 are Paykans that must be phased out in the coming months. The new bylaw aims to reduce pollution in the central business district,” he said.

The Paykan, which means “arrow” in Persian, was first manufactured in Iran in 1967. The production of Paykan was discontinued in 2005 after the Iranian government offered its manufacturer Iran Khodro cash incentives to stop the vehicle’s production.