New rules will come into effect for taxis today, differing per category A and category B license holders.
Holders of category A licenses have the right to pick up passengers on the street – they must have four doors and a trunk, be left-hand drive vehicles and also must have already passed mandatory technical inspections.
In addition, category A taxis should have a sign with the inscription ‘TAXI Tbilisi’ visible on their vehicle.
Category A taxis will enjoy free parking in special areas designated for taxis. Category A taxis are also required to be the colour white.
Category B license holders are permitted to work for taxi applications such as Bolt and provide their services to the Tbilisi population; they are not allowed to take passengers directly from the street.
Category B taxi drivers are exempt from the demand that taxis in the city be white. They also are not required to install lights on their vehicles.
Right-hand drive vehicles are allowed to work as category B taxis until January 1, 2021.
Back in April 2019, drivers protested against the new taxi regulations, especially against the demand that cars be painted white, claiming repainting their vehicles would be expensive and would decrease the overall value of the car.
In response, Tbilisi City Hall agreed to let taxi drivers apply peelable paint on their vehicles, the cost of which would be covered by vouchers.