90pc of cabs in Ajman are operating illegally

AJMAN — Around 90 per cent of Ajman taxis are operating illegally, as the Traffic and Licensing Department had earlier decided to stop registering and renewing taxi licences with effect from April 1, in order to transfer all the plate numbers of the cabs to Ajman Transport Corporation (ATC).


Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Sun 23 Jul 2006, 10:18 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:16 PM

The ATC, however, has failed to provide sufficient metered taxis to fulfil the transportation needs in the emirate.

ATC had earlier signed an agreement with the Cars Company to provide 400 taxis, but could only provide 43 taxis which are currently not operating due to lack of trained drivers.

The shortage of legitimate taxis in the emirate has led to a chaotic situation for passengers who are forced to hire illegal taxis, some of them registered in Sharjah.

Bahi Badr Al Tuhami, a resident of Ajman, said: "It has become very difficult to find taxis easily like before, we have to wait for a long time before a taxi comes by. I'm ready to pay any price the taxi driver asks me because I can't afford to stand for long time in this heat and humidity."

Fatam Muftah, another resident of Ajman, said that the situation is worsening and the authority should find a quick solution to this problem which is not only affecting the public, but would also affect the development in the emirate. I can't say what people who don't have private cars will do in case of emergency, if they have to take patients quickly to hospital. Before the launching ATC there was no transportation problem in Ajman and taxis used to be available any time and anywhere in the emirate.

The ATC also failed to give the UAE nationals who surrendered their taxi numbers, a monthly income.

Mohammed H., one of the nationals who used to own a taxi, said that the ATC convinced them to return their numbers and in return receive every month an amount for it, as all taxis in Ajman would be consolidated in the corporation' s fleet gradually after their licence expired and will not be renewed again. But since January 2006 nothing was paid to the poor UAE nationals who depended on this taxi for their livelihood.

''Now all of us have financial problems and we will end up starving. We approached the Traffic Department demanding return of our licences so that they could be used for operating pick-ups on rent for transporting goods. The official refused and said the number cannot be returned to us," Mohammed recounted.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Brigadier Mahmoud Mohammed Abdullah, Director General of Ajman Traffic and Licence Department, said the department will organise a campaign to combat the illegal operation of such taxis based on the traffic rules and regulations. But the taxis which are still operating will continue functioning until their licences expire. The decision was earlier made by the department to transfer all the taxi plate numbers to ATC which is in charge of new taxi services and the organising the transportation work in the emirates.

Answering a question about effective solution to the problem of shortage of taxis in the emirate, he said the only solution is to wait till ATC makes arrangements to provide more taxis to operate in the emirate.

He said that the lack of taxis in the emirate was also an opportunity for Sharjah taxis to operate in the emirate, which is illegal. Last week the traffic policemen deployed in all parts of the emirate caught more than 20 Sharjah taxis transporting passengers within the emirate, he noted.

With regard to the UAE nationals who surrendered their taxi numbers, Brig Abdullah said that the ATC is responsible to pay for them. "Many of these UAE nationals approached us and demanded their numbers back, but based on the rules the numbers cannot be returned to them. The ATC has to pay their monthly percentage for their numbers," he added.

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