The following story was originally published by Chaikhana.media and is republished by Global Voices under a partnership agreement.
Afgan Maharramov, 54, has been driving a taxi on the central streets of Baku for nearly 20 years. He is the only breadwinner in his family. But Afgan, like many other traditional taxi drivers, is struggling to compete against new taxi apps. He says work for traditional taxis is gradually disappearing from the market, making it harder for drivers like him to earn a living.
Nearly a thousand drivers working in Baku have been boycotting taxi apps since the summer of 2020. They also established the Public Union of Taxi Drivers in order to protect the rights of taxi drivers in the age of smartphones.
Others, like young inventor Rahim Khoyski, believe rideshare apps are the future. Rahim, a former taxi driver, is developing his own app for cabbies and passengers. The following video in Azerbaijani with English subtitles tells their story.