Abdulla Sultan Al Sabbagh, General manager of TransAD (Centre for Regulation of Transport by Hire Cars in Abu Dhabi emirate), a division of Abu Dhabi Department of Transport, also said that two new taxi companies will also join the current fleet of silver taxis by the first quarter of this year.
These two companies will add 2,042 vehicles in phases, increasing the total number of taxis in the emirate to 9,189 by the end of 2010.
Also, all seven taxi companies currently operating in the emirate will provide 10 vehicles that will be earmarked for women passengers. The tariff for these taxis will be the same, Al Sabbagh said. These taxis will be connected to the communication centre of TransAD to ensure highest degrees of security and safety for them.
Women can book these taxis through the company’s communication centre by dialing 066535353, this service is designated only for women and children below 10, and no man will be permitted to ride them, he said.
The seven companies which are gradually replacing the old golden-and-white-coloured taxis with the new silver-coloured taxis are Tawasul, National, Arabia, Al Ghazal, Cars, Q-link and Emirates.
TansAD also delivered 226 electronic deduction cards to the Ministry of Social Affairs to be distributed among the disabled, old, patients with chronic ailments, Al Sabbagh said. TransAD will activate these cards within the coming few months reducing the transportation burden, he said. This category will be exempted 50 per cent of the total tariff, while 25 per cent fare-cut will be given to widows and those who are divorced, provided they are approved by the ministry, Al Sabbagh said.
TransAD has recently developed a new system to monitor overspeeding by silver taxi drivers. The electronic system tracks down the drivers who do not abide by rules. Those caught overspeeding may be fined between Dh100 and Dh1,000, Al Sabbagh said.
The maximum speed limit in Abu Dhabi city will be 70 kmph, Abu Dhabi airport zone 60 kmph, Al Ain city 70 kmph and in other zones, 120 kmph, Al Sabbagh said.
The system will send two warning messages to drivers to reduce the speed. If the driver still doesn’t do so within the specified time limit, he will be fined Dh100 for the first offence. As per the taxi regulations, taxis registered in Abu Dhabi cannot ply in Al Ain and vice versa, he said.
TransAD lauded Tawasul, Arabia and Al Ghazal for keeping their commitment to complete the number of vehicles assigned to them by the end of 2009. Each taxi company had been asked to complete a fleet of 1,021 vehicles by the end of December but only three have done this so far, Al Sabbagh said. TransAD has given the rest of the companies a grace period of three months to complete the targeted number. If they fail to do so, the centre will fine them Dh1,000 per non-operated vehicle, but the centre won’t collect these fines before April 1, 2010, Al Sabbagh said.— email@example.com
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