A senior official at Sharjah Transport confirmed to Khaleej Times that they would be increasing the number of taxis in the emirate very soon.
The official disclosed that there were plans to expand the Sharjah Transport network to all such areas that were currently not covered by the public transport agency, especially buses.
People living in areas along Al Wahda Road as well as those living in industrial areas of the emirate have been facing problems in hiring taxis to take them to the Rolla Square, from where they can travel to Dubai or other areas of the emirates.
There has been an overwhelming shortage of taxis in Sharjah and commuters allege they often have to wait for hours on the roads to get taxis.
To make the matters worse, some taxi drivers refuse to take the passengers to their destinations on the pretext that they have already been hired, allege Sharjah residents.
Raj, an Indian expatriate who lives in a building near Al Wahda Road in Sharjah and works in Dubai, said that in the morning hours taxi drivers simply refuse to take him to Dubai for work, fearing the traffic jam.
“The only way you can get to Dubai from Al Wahda Road is by taxi. No buses ply on this road. We find it really hard to reach our places of work in time,” said Raj.
Aneem Anwal, also a resident of Sharjah, has been suffering a similar problem. “One day I stopped a taxi to take me and my family to a nearby shopping mall. But because the distance was short, the taxi driver refused to carry us,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sharjah Transport officials conceded they had been receiving lots of complaints from residents about being mistreated by the taxi drivers. But they said their inspection teams were always on the move to check this problem.
“Any driver who will be reported mistreating residents in any way, either by refusing to take them to their destinations or by using un-metered taxis or overcharging the customers, will face stringent punishments and may even lose their jobs,” warned an official at Sharjah Transport.
The official, however, urged commuters to always report such incidents to Sharjah Transport and record the registration numbers of these taxis so that the erring drivers could be penalised.
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