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New cab booking system to reduce waiting time

Ali Zafar / 12 June 2012

The wait after booking a cab will be shorter as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has launched a new taxi booking and dispatch system.

The system has so far been installed in 3,100 Dubai cabs, excluding the airport taxi fleet, following complaints from customers facing lengthy waiting time after booking a cab, RTA officials said.

Director of transport systems Adel Shakeri said in the past, if you booked a cab in Jumeirah 1, the taxi dispatch centre would send a cab from Jumeirah 3.

The new system will, however, find the nearest cab in your neighbourhood.

“The area in the past was very wide so we have now a map that focuses on smaller areas,” Shakeri said.

“The system will automatically choose the taxi cab nearest to you,” he added.

There are a total of 7,908 cabs in Dubai.

The cabs that haven’t received the upgrade with the new system should be updated by the yearend, Shakeri said. He wouldn’t reveal the cost of upgrading the system.

Additionally, the new system — named Dispatch 8 — will offer a welcome greeting to passengers along with telling them to buckle up. As for passengers travelling to

Sharjah, the system will automatically add the Dh20 fee to the cost.

Currently, cab drivers have to tell passengers to pay the extra fee, which often confuses the passenger, Shakeri said.

Fares under Dh10 will automatically pop up on the screen as Dh10. The system will also make the job easier for taxi drivers, who will have electronic maps in their vehicles guiding them through city streets. Additionally, if a driver goes above 120 kilometres an hour on the highway, the system will notify the driver with an automated warning. Several trial runs using Dispatch 8 have shown the system will reduce waiting time for passengers who have booked cabs. However, Shakeri said, the system will need to be up and running for at least three months before he can give a figure on how much shorter the waiting time will be in each neighbourhood of the city.

alizafar@khaleejtimes.com

 
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