Četvrtak, 31. decembar 2009. - Objavljeno 03:35 GMT
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
poznat po nečemu lošem, čuven po zlu
u lošem stanju, "krševan", sklon kvarovima
a low interest loan scheme
kredit sa malom kamatom
bačeni, završili na otpadu
haggle over fares
cenjkanje, pogađanje cene vožnje
behind the wheel
biti za volanom, upravljati automobilom
drugačiji, prepoznatljiv, autentičan