Saudi to grant licences to family taxi cabs driven by women, but female passengers are a must

No men or young male children will be allowed to sit in the front seat

Saudi Arabia’s Public Transport Authority will grant licences to family taxi cabs that are driven by Saudi women drivers, local media reported.

While women will be allowed to drive the family taxi cabs, the passengers will have to include at least one Saudi woman, Saudi Gazette reported.

Also, under the rules, no men or young male children will be allowed to sit in the front seat, alongside the female driver.

Fines for these offences will range from SAR2,000- SAR3,000, the report stated.

Also read: Saudi woman driver crashes into shop in Eastern Province

Requirements include registering the car as a public taxi and having an air conditioning system and a GPS.

The authority also said the family car should not be more than five years old from the date of the manufacturing, have an engine with a capacity of 2,000 cc, and must have seven seats including the driver’s seat.

The women drivers should also be highly trained, hold a general licence, and have a clean conduct sheet.

Drivers will not be allowed to smoke while behind the wheel and should not “roam the streets” looking for passengers, the authority stated.

The authority said if the establishment has 10 cars, it would be immediately be granted the licence. Also, if the company operating the cabs does not have an electronic payment system, it will be fined SAR1,000 but if the system is available and not working, the fine will be cut to SAR500.

The ban on women driving in the kingdom was lifted on June 24 in a landmark move expected to provide greater freedom of mobility and access to wider job opportunities.

Read: Saudi receives 120,000 applications for female driving licences

Saudi women are back in the driving seat

Ride hailing applications Uber and Careem have already recruited their first female drivers in the kingdom.

A team of female doctors in Saudi Arabia has also launched an all-women ambulance service in Khobar.

Female staff at a governmental hospital in Khobar came up with the idea for the ambulance to provide a community service and offer women more privacy, according to reports.

Read more: Saudi doctors start all-women ambulance service after lifting of driving ban