Sri Lankan tuk-tuks to change into extra tourist-friendly

For a long time, vacationers to Sri Lanka have run a gauntlet of unscrupulous taxi drivers charging elevated fares and making unscheduled stops at commission-paying memento outlets, however all which may be set to alter because of the government’s new finances proposals.

A row of vibrant “tuk-tuk” motorized rickshaws in Sri Lanka. Image by Shanna Baker/Getty Images

Under new guidelines deliberate for 2018, working meters will change into obligatory for all passenger three-wheelers, and a nationwide three-wheeler regulatory authority can be established to offer passengers recourse within the event of fare disputes. At the identical time, a brand new programme will practice tuk-tuk drivers as vacationer guides, with the purpose of lastly delivering the ‘tourist-friendly tuk-tuks’ that the government has been promising since 2009.

As a part of the undertaking, tuk-tuks carrying vacationers can be licensed by the Sri Lanka Tourist Development Authority and required to enroll to official requirements, together with a requirement to show the identify and handle particulars for the motive force prominently within the cab. Drivers may also be given classes on etiquette, buyer relations, important first help, language expertise and highway guidelines.

Preethipura, Hendala, Western, Sri Lanka. Image by Imagebook/Theekshana Kumara/Getty Images

Sri Lanka’s tuk-tuks are additionally set to go greener in 2018. New taxes on the import of fossil-fuelled tuk-tuks can be launched subsequent yr, alongside a particular scheme to lease less-polluting electrical automobiles to tuk-tuk drivers on beneficial phrases. Longer time period, the government hopes that the nation’s whole fleet of 1.5 million tuk-tuks can be powered by electrical energy by 2045.

The destiny of all these undesirable inner combustion-powered tuk-tuks is already being thrashed out, with the government of Bangladesh expressing an curiosity in importing the automobiles at a reduced price. While a cynic would possibly say this simply strikes the issue elsewhere, cities resembling Colombo and Kandy are among the most polluted in Asia, so the results in Sri Lanka could also be vastly helpful for future generations of vacationers and locals.

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