People, Environment

3,000 Old Taxis Replaced in Tehran

3,000 Old Taxis Replaced in Tehran3,000 Old Taxis Replaced in Tehran

The number of renovated taxis in Tehran reached 3,000 following Tehran Municipality’s move to offer low-interest loans to cabbies in cooperation with Bank Shahr (Persian for City Bank).

Mehdi Ebrahimi, technical and operational deputy at Tehran’s Taxi Organization, said replacing old taxis with fuel-efficient, modern vehicles and eliminating Paykans from the capital’s taxi fleet are top priorities of the organization.

There are roughly 7,000 old Paykan taxis plying the streets of the metropolis.

Currently, 17,000 dilapidated taxis ply the streets of the capital, 6,300 of which are Paykans. Each Paykan emits 10 kilograms of pollutants every day, which translates into 3,600 kilograms of pollutants annually.

“Registration for new taxis began in February when the government tasked relevant organizations to upgrade the country’s taxi fleet,” Ebrahimi was quoted as saying by Persian Khodro.

The municipality started delivering new cars as of late May.He denied rumors suggesting that taxi owners are obliged to replace their vehicles with luxury ones and asserted that drivers are free to choose from a range of vehicles produced in Iran, adding that applicants can even choose the bank from which they want to get the loan.

“Our goal is to do away with dilapidated cars in the city’s taxi fleet,” he said.

The vehicles on offer include hybrid vehicles that are both fuel-efficient and eco-friendly, which can help alleviate the sprawling capital’s struggle with air pollution.

Clunkers way past their service life clutter the streets of Tehran and are said to be responsible for a staggering 80% of the air pollution. Taxis, which hardly account for 2% of the public transportation fleet, contribute a whopping 18% to air pollution.

According to data by the Health Ministry and World Health Organization, roughly 80,000 people die prematurely due to poor air quality in Iran, of which 4,400 deaths occur in Tehran.

  Doing Away With Clunkers

Following the news, a city official renewed calls for clearing the streets of Tehran of clunkers to effectively put an end to the toxic pollution that every winter subjects the 12 million inhabitants of the capital city to weeks of smog.

Speaking to YJC, Ahmad Donyamali, head of the Development and Transportation Committee of Tehran City Council, said every polluting vehicles, no matter who or what entity it belongs to, must be removed from the city streets.

He urged government official, players in the private sector and relevant NGOs to work together and help clear the streets of clunkers.

President Hassan Rouhani’s government has taken measures to address the pollution woes of Tehran and other major cities across the country, the most important of which is the distribution of Euro-4 gasoline in those cities which, according to the Department of Environment, has helped increase the number of “clean” and “healthy” days, based on WHO guidelines.

Pollution caused by dilapidated cars is 50 times higher than that of Euro-4-compliant cars, and 22 times more than Euro-2 cars, according to the Transportation and Fuel Management Organization.