Taxi Drivers Deny Overcharging

ABU DHABI — Taxi drivers in the capital refuted commuters’ claims that they overcharge during Ramadan.

By Olivia Olarte And Anwar Ahmed

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Published: Sun 23 Aug 2009, 12:20 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:23 AM

“I use meter, always,” stated Mahboub Hussain, a Pakistani national who said he has been working as a taxi driver for 10 years. Hussain drives the old yellow and white cab.

Asked if he has ever meddled with fares, he grinned and said “no” and claimed he doesn’t know if other drivers do.

He admitted to not plying the arterial roads in Abu Dhabi as they are congested and prefers to drive mostly to Mussafah and Baniyas as there was “not too much traffic”, but insisted that he charged according to the meter and not per person. Pakistani driver Sayyed Mohsin also drives the old cab. He said he has been driving for the last 20 years and all his customers were happy.

His daily schedule is from 5am to 7pm and it will be the same during Ramadan, he said. “I am fasting and driving also. After eating, I drive again,” he said.

Mohsin said he also use the meter and “no ask for more money.” “If good passenger, they give tip,” remarked Hussain Shah, another Pakistani cab driver.

Meanwhile, transport officials will carry out inspections during Ramadan to ensure the availability of taxis, TransAD, the taxi regulator in the capital said.

The organisation will monitor taxis in four shifts during Ramadan instead of three like on normal days, Abdulla Sultan Al Sabbagh, general manager, told Khaleej Times on Thursday.

Al Sabbagh said there will be a slight change in pick-up and drop-off timings of taxis during Ramadan.

“Our call centres will be operational round-the-clock during Ramadan for receiving any complaint from residents if they come across any cheating by taxi drivers,” Al Sabbagh said.

The fines for asking more than the metered fare will remain at Dh500, and Dh1,000 if the offence is repeated, for both old and new taxis, said Al Sabbagh. “Those who would like to complain about the unruly behaviour and refusal to pick up passengers, can call the toll free number 600535353. They can book for a taxi with the same number as well,” he said. He added that TransAD would appreciate receiving complaints from commuters in order to curb the wrongdoings of erring drivers.

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