18:56 GMT +323 July 2018
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    Moscow urges illegal taxi drivers to 'come out of the shadows'

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    Moscow city authorities have called on the capital's unlicensed taxi drivers to legalize their businesses.

    Moscow city authorities have called on the capital's unlicensed taxi drivers to legalize their businesses.

    "As Moscow has a lack of taxi services, illegal taxi drivers will have a chance to move from their shady business to the real economy on legal grounds," Moscow's transport and communication department said in a statement.

    Only 9,000 taxi drivers in the Russian capital have licenses to drive a cab, with around another 40,000 working illegally.

    Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, who identified solving the city's transport problems as a key issue on his agenda, said in mid-January that the authorities planned to clamp down on unlicensed taxis.

    However analysts say that it will be hard to rid the city of unlicensed cabs. It is a common practice in Moscow to hail a passing car, agree a price, and head off to your destination.

    The department also pledged to bring order to the work of legal taxis in the city. It said special parking spaces will be allotted near Moscow's main train stations to improve the traffic situation.

    Moscow authorities also signed an agreement with the local taxi companies obliging them to provide free services to passengers in emergency situations, the department said on Monday.

    Some unscrupulous taxi drivers took advantage of the blast at Moscow's Domodedovo airport on January 24, increasing fares by 10-fold, charging as much up to 20,000 rubles ($670) per trip from the airport to Moscow.

    MOSCOW, February 1 (RIA Novosti)

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