Street Laws Exclude Free Rides after Terrorist Acts

A female Muscovite had her car damaged by private drivers on March 29 when she decided not to charge anything from those who needed a ride after the terrorist attacks in the Moscow metro.

Private drivers raised their prices three times after the traffic in the Moscow center was paralyzed as a result of the explosions.

The woman, named only as Alexandra, was at home on Monday morning, when the terrorist acts in the subway occurred. She was surfing the Internet looking for information about the tragedy and came across a message from a local radio station, which urged its listeners to help those stranded in the center of the city. News agencies said that greedy drivers raised their prices after the terrorist acts and charged 3,000 rubles (about $100) for a 15-minute drive.

Alexandra lives near the Krasniye Vorota metro station, close to the area where the subway bombings took place. She printed out several “Free Ride” ads, and went to the nearest metro station.

She stopped in the area of three major railway stations. There were crowds of people near the metro station. There were many cars on the square too – mostly old Soviet-made Zhiguli cars “with square wheels” as the woman said.

“I did not go out of the car at once after I arrived. I decided to stay inside for a while to look around. I stuck the “Free Ride” ad on the windscreen. The next moment I heard something yelling “Don’t offer any free rides here! Go away!” Someone hit the windscreen of my car with something,” the woman said.

Alexandra could not see what the angry man used to smash the glass – she instinctively covered her face with her arms. The glass did not break, but it needs to be replaced because it is covered with multiple cracks.

Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov said that taxi cab drivers did not raise prices after the subway bombings. Private cabmen did it, though, he acknowledged.

Alexandra believes that the drivers smashed her car because they wanted to keep their market of services under control.

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov