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For Metered Taxi, a Measured Struggle

For Mai Linh Open Tour, Cambodia's only taxi company to run on a meter and charge by the distance, business in Phnom Penh has been a struggle.

Everyday Cambodians consider the cars too nice to ride in, even though the prices, all told are competitive. Then there's Phnom Penh's increasingly snarled traffic.

Drivers complain they get stuck with all the other cars, as motorcycle taxis and tuk-tuks pass them by. Gas is expensive, too.

"The company is aware of the gasoline price hike, but the company has equipped the taxis" as a hybrid, using both gasoline and natural gas, said Mai Linh company's marketing representative, Kang Heang Ratana.

The company says it earned a small profit in the first month of business, enough to drive forward.