Residents Upset Over New Taxi Fares

ABU DHABI - The 40-fil hike in flag fall fare for taxis, which will take effect on Sunday, has upset residents of Abu Dhabi and delighted the taxi drivers.

By Anwar Ahmad

Published: Sun 15 Feb 2009, 1:37 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 7:52 PM

While the residents felt that the increased fare would add to their financial burden, the car hire regulatory body, TransAD said that the new standardised fares would prevent over-charging by taxi drivers.

Some of the residents, however, felt that the new flag fall fare of Dh3 for all silver taxis in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, would prompt many people to go in for bus journeys that cost mere Dh1 a trip in the city.

A resident of Abu Dhabi, Abdul Sattar, said, “It is a burden on us. We pay 50 fils to old golden-and-white colour taxis for a kilometre, but now we will have to pay Dh1 for the same distance. More taxis are needed as the population is growing. ”

“We don’t find taxis in the city from 5pm to 9pm as they operate as ‘shared taxis’ between Abu Dhabi and Musaffah to earn more money.”

The taxi drivers charge Dh5 per passenger for a journey between Abu Dhabi and Musaffah. Thus, by carrying four passengers on each trip the taxi drivers stand to earn Dh20 and stay out of the city’s traffic jam during evening peak hours.

Balram Shankar, legal consultant, said, “Prices of foodstuff have increased while salaries are static. Since oil prices have gone down, there is no reason for increase in fares.”

Mohammad Ansher Aboobaker, a bank employee, said, “The new fares will affect the income of taxi drivers as most people will prefer to travel in buses. More taxis should be introduced during morning time to deal with shortage.” “This move is not encouraging in times of recession. We have problems with golden-and-white colour taxi as most of the drivers refuse to take us to crowed areas in the city,” Fayas Khan, chief accountant, said. The taxi drivers, however, appeared to be delighted with the introduction of the new fares as they will be able to earn more money.

Zameen Hussain, a taxi driver, said, “It is good for us because it will fetch us some more money as the traffic jams in the city have turned worse. Most of the time in the city we are stuck in traffic, but this new system will improve our earnings.”

Sajid Ali of Al Arabia taxi, said, “If we don’t save enough money what is the benefit of living here as the cost of living and foodstuff prices have gone up. With the previous fares, we were saving nothing at the end of the day,” Sajid Ali added.

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