Starting on Monday, all registered taxis in Israel will be permitted to pick up passengers from Ben-Gurion International Airport. Until now, the privilege was reserved for the company that won the tender to do so, Hadar-Lod.
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In addition, the Israel Airports Authority will offer free buses at high-traffic hours, when taxis are often in short supply. The service is scheduled to commence on Monday, but circumstances may delay its start by a few days.
The move to increase competition comes after the authority launched a new bid for proposals to provide taxi service at the airport. Hadar submitted a joint bid with taxi hailing app Gett, which proposed offering rates 31 percent lower than the maximum listed in the Transportation Ministry price list. The bid was the only one submitted, and it won.
Since then, however, Hadar drivers have refused to work under the new lower rates.
The contract between the airport and Hadar, which has been its only taxi provider to date, ends on Monday.
The Israel Airports Authority intends to launch a new bid for taxi service proposals. Until then, it will operate its own taxi station at the airport instead of Hadar.
On Wednesday, TheMarker revealed that the goings-on behind the taxi tender were subject to a criminal investigation. TheMarker reported that national taxi union chairman Yehuda Ben-Or and three other union members were questioned on Wednesday by the Antitrust Authority.
Sources stated that the four were taken from their homes by antitrust officials, questioned for hours and released in the evening.
They are believed to be suspected of using their positions to undermine the tender results, after it emerged that the tender winners would be significantly lowering rates.