Khaleej Times had first reported in October last year about RTA’s plans, which aimed at reducing the number of passenger refusals by taxi drivers.
A majority of drivers are not very keen to drive a passenger to Sharjah, particularly during peak hours as the trip takes a lot of time considering the Dubai-Sharjah traffic.
October saw the Sharjah Transport introducing the same system for their taxis coming to Dubai. However, the move has not gone down well with taxi drivers in the neighbouring emirate as, according to many drivers, the number of passengers going to Dubai by taxis has seen a major drop.
Most passengers now either take the bus or even walk into Dubai limits before hailing a cab, so as to avoid paying the minimum fare of Dh20.
Also, taxis within the emirate will charge a minimum fare of Dh10.
This new system, however, does not apply to long trips, an RTA official said on Friday.
The move was introduced after complaints by taxi drivers about shorter trips they have to make, which consume a lot of their time and affect their daily targets.
Some taxi drivers say that these measures had come at a wrong time, as the number of people taking taxis has gone down due to the recession.
The meters of nearly 400 to 500 taxis have been modified according to the new system and the work on the rest is going on. Taxi meters are being changed and the system will be in place in two weeks, said the Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications, Peyman Younes Perham.
Dubai has around 8,000 taxis at present, operated by five companies including the government-owned Dubai Taxi. This number is expected to reach 10,000 by the end of this year.
“I feel that it is an untimely move. These measures would have been welcomed a year ago. Conditions have changed now and we have to hunt for passengers most of the time,” said Rahman Alam, a taxi driver.
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