Finance Minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali announced Wednesday that 17,000 new taxis had recently been delivered to their owners within the context of a government-sponsored program that aims to replace old and decrepit taxis with brand new white ones, to be paid for by installment through favorable bank loans.
Another 21,000 new cabs were set to be delivered within days, he added.
"Every day we receive 650 applications for new taxis," Boutros-Ghali said. "The total number of applications to participate in the project have so far reached 34,700."
According to the minister, the project has helped local car manufacturers ride out the ongoing global financial crisis by generating additional demand for automobiles.
Boutros-Ghali also pointed out that the program had reduced air pollution in Cairo–much of which is produced by emissions from antiquated taxis–by 22 percent. It has also served to ease the flow of traffic in the capital by around 4 percent and reduced the number of road accidents by some 6.5 percent, the minister said.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.