• Tyre

  • Wednesday, March 20, 2024 at 5:34 AM
    Last Update : Tuesday, March 26, 2024 at 4:51 AM

Southern Bombing Raids End Work of Lebanese Taxi Drivers

(AWP) - Taxi drivers in southern Lebanon say that the current round of bombardment between Hezbollah and the Israeli army, affecting towns and villages adjacent to the border, has rendered them jobless.

One described how driving from one town to another has become risky, due to Israeli bombing raids.
“There is no activity at all due to the current security developments. People are unable to move. Anyone planning to move must calculate their trips well,” said Hassan Badawi.

“The financial and security situations are both bad. This is more than enough to describe the conditions in the region. We are ready to transport people to earn our bread, but we don’t have any passengers. Anyone moving here or there is scared. Besides, the bad financial conditions will not allow people to bear the costs,” he added.

Badawi pointed out that, in addition to the escalating security tension in southern Lebanon, the financial condition of taxi drivers, like that of their passengers, has been worsened by Lebanon’s ongoing economic crisis.

“A taxi driver pays a lot for his rent and fuel, but passengers, like taxi drivers, are in bad shape economically. Taxi drivers all rent their homes, particularly the original residents of this area,” he noted.

Khidr Al-Khidr, another taxi driver, complained of the decreasing number of passengers and the high cost of living.

“Passengers’ activity is not like the past, that’s for sure. We used to go from here to Marwahin, Yarine, Ayta Ash Shaba and Ramyeh. All areas were safe, and everything was good. But now it is not the same," he said.

“We might spend a whole day working until 4:00 or 5:00 p.m., and not get more than two passengers, with inadequate fare,” added Khidr.

Aly Kassab, another taxi driver, said that the money he pays for fuel is much more than what he can earn from a whole day of work in the villages and towns of southern Lebanon.

“There are no passengers moving here and there. I live in Yater. I come to this terminal and park here without getting a single passenger,” he said.

“The trip costs me 500,000 to 600,000 Lebanese liras (roughly $6-7) for the fuel, but to no avail. This is what happens every day,” Kassab lamented.

Although five months have passed since clashes broke out between Hezbollah and Israel, the city of Tyre, southern Lebanon, has escaped the escalating aggression to some extent, while the border villages come under daily Israeli artillery and drone fire.