Tourist & Resident Guide to Iran

Saturday, October 01, 2005

The Tehran Taxi Pool

Tehran Taxi PoolWith car pools now being hailed as the answer to urban traffic problems the world over some credit must be given to Iran's already long-established system of taxi-sharing.

The key difference between a private cab and a shared taxi is that complete strangers who happen to be going the same way will jump in with you. Drivers position themselves at bus stops and other major junctions and either call out a destination of their own choosing or be open to suggestions from a largely fixed set of popular nearby locations. Some travelers simply choose a strategic point on a main road and call out to passing cars – chances are one or more of them will be a shared cab.

It might be that you have to take more than one shared cab and walk a little to reach your destination but, at a fraction of the cost of a private cab, the shared taxi is a cost effective and efficient mode of transport between Tehran's major centres and a lesson waiting to be learned by the West.

Guide to Tehran


ericbritton said...

But what do you call them in Iran? ANd is there a differnt name for the one that stays in the city and the inter-city shared taxis? Thanks.

tadatanome said...

They're called "sawari" in Farsi. It's a derivative of the verb "to ride" but often they are also just called "mashin" which is the regular word for "car".

You're right, there are inter-city shared taxis too. I don't think they're called anything special though perhaps something should be coined that refers to the insane speeds they reach on the highways!