RIYADH – Saudi Arabia has allowed women to adopt the profession of taxi driver, in a move to make them independent economically.

The development comes less than four years after the kingdom lifted the ban on female drivers in September 2017.

The Saudi General Directorate of Traffic in a statement said that women could apply for a “general taxi license” at any of 18 driving schools, adding that the fee for a license is SR200 ($53), Arab News quoted the department as saying.

The move was widely hailed by women of the kingdom.

Artist Latifah Al-Shalhoub told the publication she supported the development.

“As a female, I always had an issue with this topic. I never felt comfortable riding in a taxi on my own with a male driver. At least with Uber and Careem you get some information about the driver before you get in,” she said.

“Most taxi drivers around the world are men, but you do see women drivers in some countries. It is definitely more comfortable to ride with a female driver than a male.”

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