İstanbul taxies to get panic buttons as part of Olympic preparations

İstanbul taxies to get panic buttons as part of Olympic preparations

(Photo: AA)

March 08, 2012, Thursday/ 15:21:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

Panic buttons, security cameras and tracking systems will be installed in İstanbul taxies as promised by Turkish authorities as part of the city's bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Yahya Uğur, head of the İstanbul Chamber of Taxis, told reporters on Wednesday that the project is in the tender phase, which is expected to be over in a month. Uğur said the chamber applied to the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality to establish such a system two years ago and that the municipality vowed to distribute the necessary equipment for free. İstanbul's Olympic bid, which was presented to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last month, included the planned changes to taxis in the city.

The İstanbul Police Department will respond if someone presses the panic button.

Taxi drivers will also receive English classes to be able to have basic conversations with foreign passengers if İstanbul is awarded the rights to host the major event. Uğur noted that taxi stands will be opened near the venues where Olympic competitions will take place.

Uğur also explained that the tracking systems will increase the quality of service in taxis to prevent drivers from cheating customers. Providing taxis with navigation systems is also part of the innovative taxi plan.

He also added that a hotline had been established so that a customer who wishes to submit a complaint or request can do so by calling 444 15 23, and remarked that the most distinctive feature of İstanbul taxi drivers is their honesty and that they return forgotten belongings to the customers if they call the hotline.

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