'Mystery Rider' to monitor RTA drivers

DUBAI - Bus drivers now need to stay extra careful in dealing with the passengers, for a 'Mystery Rider' might be on board watching all his moves. The 'Mystery Rider' initiative of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) aims at identifying means adopted by the bus drivers in dealing with the commuters on a daily basis, said Essa Al Dossari, CEO of the Public Transport Agency on Tuesday.

By Joy Sengupta

Published: Tue 8 Jul 2008, 8:27 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:08 PM

As part of the initiative, an undercover official boards the RTA buses and then watches all the moves of the driver, including the way he behaves with the passenger, his driving skills etc. He would jot down various points related to the trip and the driver and then forward it to the Public Transport Agency.

However, the RTA did not comment on whether there would be any fines or penalties on the drivers with negative remarks.

“The Mystery Rider Programme has been launched to identity the pattern of services and daily practices adopted by bus drivers in dealing with commuters. It will also enable us verify compliance of bus drivers with traffic rules and safety regulations in an accurate, objective and neutral manner," said Al Dossari.

"Eventually, this will assist Public Transport Agency in uplifting the performance of public bus drivers, upgrade the level of service rendered to the public and measure the extent of passenger satisfaction. We want to know about the way drivers behave and treat passengers first hand," he added.

Sources in the RTA said the 'Mystery Rider' could be an RTA official or a person outsourced by the Agency.

“The Public Transport Agency considers bus drivers as ambassadors of the RTA, as they are in daily contact with so many passengers of all nationalities. We are always trying to ensure the best possible services to the commuters. This can be achieved by providing classy service at the highest quality standards applicable worldwide."

"The Mystery Rider initiative is a qualitative performance measure based on a number of specific standards against which the effectiveness of drivers’ performance and daily attitudes towards passengers are benchmarked," opined Al Dossari.

The official added that the initiative is not only restricted to monitoring poor performance and malpractices of drivers.

"The move also aims at detecting the excellent performance of drivers, who are keen to deliver super services to passengers. Such drivers will be rewarded and praised," he opined.

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