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Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Egypt halts tuk-tuk licenses, moves forward with plan to replace three-wheeled vehicles with gas-run minivans

Local development ministry pushing plan to replace three-wheeled vehicles with gas-run minivans: The Local Development Ministry is reportedly pushing ahead with a recent decision to stop issuing licenses for tuk-tuks (we’d argue they already weren’t issuing them, full stop) and replace them with minivans that run on natural gas, Youm7 reports. The government is reportedly considering a program that would buy from owners tuk-tuks that have already been purchased and licensed; program participants would receive minivans in return and pay the price difference between the two vehicles using soft loans, according to Egypt Today. They will be able to operate the minivans using taxi licenses.

Keep this all in context: Last we checked, licensing was very much an Interior Ministry prerogative. The Local Development Ministry is in on the anti-tuk-tuk drive, but it’s not the only player at the table.

Before we smile in satisfaction, remember: These things create tens of thousands of jobs a year and are at present the only vehicles serving many peri-urban areas — to say nothing of being “last mile” transport linking informal settlements nationwide to transport hubs.

Background: The drive to phase out tuk-tuks has been in the works for a while, with the Industrial Development Authority ending licenses for tuk-tuk manufacturers and assemblers back in April. In March 2018, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) reported that there were 99k licensed tuk-tuks in Egypt between 2014 and 2016, and over 3 mn operating without licenses.

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