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Minibus Taxi Drivers Strike In Daghestan

Minibuses in Kyrgyzstan. Fixed-route taxis are common throughout the former Soviet Union.
MAKHACHKALA, Daghestan -- Minibus taxi drivers in the capital of the Russia's Republic of Daghestan are on strike today for a second straight day, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The drivers are demanding that authorities annul a new increase in the cost of the permit needed to operate a minibus route in the capital. They said they will have to increase their prices and will lose significant business if city authorities do not meet their demands.

The strike has taken hundreds of minibuses off the streets of Makhachkala.

The minibus taxi system, known as "marshrutnoe taksi," is very popular in many parts of the former Soviet Union. Minibuses are generally much cheaper than a regular taxi and -- although they are more expensive than the city bus or tram system -- the minibuses appear more frequently and offer more routes around the city.