http://www.bbcserbian.com

Četvrtak, 31. decembar 2009. - Objavljeno 03:35 GMT

Novi taksiji - manje zagađenje

Cairo is notorious for its overcrowded roads, irregular driving practices and rickety old vehicles, but also for its air pollution. In recent months though, environmental studies indicate there have been signs of improvement. That's due in part to the removal of many of the capital's antiquated black and white taxis. Most of those dating back to the 1960s and 70s were in a poor state of repair.

After new legislation demanded their removal from the roads, a low interest loan scheme was set up with three Egyptian banks so drivers could buy new cars. The government pays about $900 for old ones to be scrapped and advertising on the vehicles helps cover repayments.

The idea has proved popular with customers - they can now travel in air-conditioned comfort - and because the new cabs are metered, they don't have to haggle over fares. Banks and car manufacturers are glad for the extra business in tough economic times. As for the taxi drivers, most are delighted to be behind the wheel of new cars, although there have been a few complaints about switching from black and white to a plain white colour. 'Our cabs used to look distinctive', one man told me 'they were part of our heritage, like the pyramids. If you saw them in an old movie, you knew it was shot in Cairo'.

Yolande Knell, BBC News, Cairo

notorious
poznat po nečemu lošem, čuven po zlu

rickety
u lošem stanju, "krševan", sklon kvarovima

indicate
pokazuje

antiquated
zastareli, staromodni

a low interest loan scheme
kredit sa malom kamatom

scrapped
bačeni, završili na otpadu

haggle over fares
cenjkanje, pogađanje cene vožnje

behind the wheel
biti za volanom, upravljati automobilom

distinctive
drugačiji, prepoznatljiv, autentičan

heritage
nasleđe, tradicija