I got across your article “Taxi Passengers Are Being Taken for a Ride” in Haaretz and want to share my experience. I was attacked verbally and physically by driver of Amal Taxi # 8543326 just for insisting on paying the basic fare to Haifa NIS 74 and taking photo of his license plate. The incident took place on July 6, 2019, Saturday, 17.17pm. Two Amal drivers refused to take me to Kyriat Hamemshala, Haifa for basic fare saying they are full, when they clearly were not. Please find attached the receipt of the driver that finally took me to Haifa for basic fare, getting scared that I might report him as well, after witnessing the violent attack of his colleague from taxi # 8543326 who threatened to break my phone, beat me and come to my home and he did not mean flower delivery). Probably I should have called or complained to police.
If you will investigate the taxi service (Moniyot Sherut) from Ben Gurion airport, you may find evidence for an explosive article. The loud and aggressive taxi drivers, licensed to provide transfer service from Ben Gurion airport, abuse their privilege to the hilt. When they see the foreign tourist they charge whatever they want without any regard for set up tariffs or giving out any receipts. When I asked the Amal Taxi driver how much would it cost to get to Haifa, he answered NIS 150 per person without thinking twice. Drivers bluntly refuse the trip for basic fare and use any excuse to inflate the price. There is no authority supervision of these services at the service taxi departure point. This is a no man land in the middle of the modern airport where passengers are robbed blindly and robbers are getting away with it. I wonder how transportation authority can close eyes for so many years and prolong license of Amal Taxi. Take a look at Google reviews of Amal taxi. Somebody must be taking bribes. The problem can be easily solved by running train or bus service on Saturdays or giving license to company with modern ios or android app and transparent process.
The set of rules is confusing and nobody reads it anyway, even Israelis. If you choose the basic fare to Kiriat HaMemshala the drivers make a point of it being the last place. Even if you want to get down with some of the passengers along the route, drivers charge NIS 115. There is also ongoing verbal abuse to make you forego the basic fare.
I posted my poor experience with Amal Taxi on my travel blog (https://www.travelmagazine.org/?p=9073 ) – feel free to use any of the pictures attached or contact me for further information.
CC: Israeli Public Transportation Authority