Sudan's taxis struggle amid economic crisis

STORY: The yellow taxis in Sudan’s capital were once an enduring part of its colonial legacy.

They were introduced under British rule in 1937.

But the vehicles haven’t been renewed since the late seventies, and some of their drivers are getting on in years too.

Now Khartoum’s taxi operators say they’re being overtaken by new competitors using unregulated ride hailing apps.

The rivals also boast less battered wheels.

Yellow taxi driver Alrasheed Ahmed says all sorts of people are muscling in on his trade:

“New drivers with applications have appeared and they hang up the taxi sign, but that sign actually belongs to yellow taxi drivers. They put them on the tops of their cars and abuse them. One such driver can leave his place of work, take four or five people with him at the same time.”

Drivers say their struggles mirror Sudan’s economic decline.

The government hasn’t been able to finance new cars for them as fuel costs soar.

Now some people stick with yellow cabs out of loyalty:

"I honestly feel for them, but also support them. When I pass by and see them just standing there, I always say 'may God be with you'. There's no work at all.”

But depending on such kindness doesn’t seem like a business model.

And now even the new ride hailing apps are in trouble too.

As Sudan struggles, many of its people find hitchhiking is an even cheaper option.