It’s time to catch a legal ride

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It’s time to catch a legal ride

The introduction of a taxi service into Abu Dhabi’s Western region from September should curb the number of illegal private car services, locals say.

By Haseeb Haider

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Published: Mon 26 Aug 2013, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 6:12 PM

“As part of its endeavours to provide integrated and world-class services to the public in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the Centre for Regulation of Transport by Hire Cars (TransAD) gearing up to launch the taxi service,’ a TransAD statement said.

Hotel executive Clifford Fernandez welcomed the taxi service, which he said would fill the transport vacuum in the region.

The Department of Transport has linked with the bus service from the main city Madina Zayed with all the big towns of the region like Liwa, Ruwais, Mirfa and other areas.

However, there was a great demand for a taxi service as more than five thousand people commute out of the regional capital, Madina Zayed, for work daily, Fernandez said. Out of these he estimated over 2,000 were white-collar executives, who needed decent transport to get to work.

A large of number of European expatriates were working in the area as teachers, who would greatly benefit from the taxi service, he said.

While a good majority of the people had their own transport, many called private cars occasionally to get a ride, Fernandez said — an illegal manoeuvre.

Zubair Mir, who runs a construction firm, said that provision of public transport in the Western Region was a blessing for the thousands of residents and workers in the resource-rich area. Mir works on several construction projects in the area. He said dozens of construction projects were being built in the Western region and thousands of workers and technicians had to commute between their labour accommodation in Ghayathi to project sites and to the city centre in Madinat Zayed for daily chores like remitting money, seeing a doctor, or going shopping.

Till now people had used the services of private car owners, who provided pick-up and drop-off, which was illegal and created problems, Mir said.

TransAD Franchise and Licensing director Mohamed Al Hosani said the new service would address the needs of residents and tourists in the Western Region, in light of anticipated growth in the region which had a number of mega-developments being undertaken there.

“We will evaluate (the) results of the service during the first phase, following which we will decide the number of taxis needed to ensure sufficient services,” he said.

Taxi fares will be the same as in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain and the service will be operated by the same companies: Al Ghazal Taxi, Arabia Taxi, CARS Taxi, Emirates Taxi, National Taxi, and Tawasul Taxi.

Early last year, the Centre for Regulation of Transport by Hire Cars launched an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) taxi booking system which operates 24/7.

Taxi reservation calls can be made to the Call Centre (600 53 53 53), which will use a Global Positioning System (GPS) to locate the taxi nearest to the caller’s address and send the requester an SMS with the dispatched taxi and driver information.

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