By Central Asian standards, Almaty has long been considered an expensive city. But the city’s taxi drivers may beg to differ: these days, you can get across the center for as little as a couple of dollars.
Kazakhstan is slowly crawling out of a slump induced in large part by falling oil prices, but this bellwether of the real economy tells a less straightforward story.
Aidyn, 53, an unlicensed taxi driver in Almaty, takes his passengers to work at rush-hour for just one dollar. Eurasianet.org has withheld Aidyn’s surname as unlicensed service workers fear the attention of tax inspectors.
“My passengers don’t get bored in traffic jams. I tell them jokes and interesting stories. My clients are happy that instead of being shoved about in a crowded bus they get to work in a warm car. And I barely charge them anything,” Aidyn told Eurasianet.
To read the full story