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Hike in Dubai taxi fare won’t benefit cabbies

Dhanusha Gokulan (reporter)
Filed on December 3, 2014 | Last updated on December 3, 2014 at 02.00 am
Hike in Dubai taxi fare won’t benefit cabbies

The flag-down rate for taxis has been increased to Dh5 from the earlier Dh3 for trips during peak hours from 7am to 10am, and from 4pm to 8pm.

Hike in Dubai taxi fare won’t benefit cabbies (/assets/oldimages/taxisto2122014.jpg)Dubai: Taxi drivers will not benefit from the recent hike in flag-down rate of taxis operating in Dubai, which came into effect yesterday. Instead, the Dh2 hike in the flag-down rate during peak hours will be deducted from the driver’s commission.

The flag-down rate for taxis has been increased to Dh5 from the earlier Dh3 for trips during peak hours from 7am to 10am, and from 4pm to 8pm.

Taxi corporations operating under the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), send out an SMS to drivers employed under them stating: “Dear Driver, in accordance with the increase of the taxi fare, we would like to inform you that there will be NO CHANGE in the Commission Slab. Instead, the Dh2 will be removed from the commission calculation.”

Taxi drivers Khaleej Times spoke to expressed disappointment at the decision. Many were hoping to get a slight hike in their commission after the decision was announced. Apart from having to pay hefty fines for being late and other such minor offences, the drivers work seven days a week on a 12-hour shift every day.

A taxi driver, Z.M, told KT on condition of anonymity: “The percentage of commission we earn is calculated on the earnings made per day. For example, if I make Dh410 a day, I earn 35 per cent of that as commission. The commission percentage reduces by 10-15 per cent as the number of passengers come down.”

He stated that on some days he makes only Dh300 or less, which drastically reduces his income. Z.M. has been working as a taxi driver in the UAE for the past 25 years. The corporation’s move to deduct the additional Dh2 from the driver’s commission has left him “deeply disturbed”, he said.

Taxi drivers are fined Dh200 if they are late by as much as one minute, he said.

Z.M.’s shift is from 4am to 4pm. “The company takes all the money we make through additional services such as Salik, service tips for the messaging services, and other such services.”

Another taxi driver, J.B., said: “We get paid Dh1,200 as leave payment for 30 days and we are not provided with annual air tickets.”

While announcing the hike, Dr Yousef Mohammed Al Ali, CEO of RTA Public Transport Agency, had said: “This step comes as part of our efforts to upgrade the daily practices and performance of cabdrivers ... besides activating cabbies’ role in advancing taxi services in Dubai by supporting and assisting them to increase their incomes. The decision will significantly contribute to putting an end to the phenomenon of refusing to pick up passengers, winning public satisfaction and meeting the growing demand for this private service.”

The RTA was contacted for further comments on the matter, but officials remained unavailable.

dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com





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