‘Unethical practices’ of cab drivers flayed

SHARJAH — The growing menace of malpractice by the drivers of metered taxis in Sharjah is becoming a matter of concern for the emirate’s residents. It is alleged that the cab drivers are using various unethical practices to make more money.


Amira Agarib

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Published: Sun 10 Jul 2005, 9:57 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:42 PM

It is further alleged that they are often rude to the passengers who hire their cabs. The affected people are mostly from the low income group and tourists who frequently use the taxis.

R. Sami, a journalist, said that some of the taxi drivers in Sharjah were cheating passenger.

"It has happened to me twice. When I took the taxi, I found that the taxi driver had already run the meter which indicated a fare of Dh4, which as per the Sharjah Transport norms should be Dh3. When I objected to this, the cabbie made an excuse and said that it had happened by mistake and that he was sorry about it," he said.

Naira Ahmed said that taxi drivers at times charge double fare as compared to regular fare for the same distance.

"In Sharjah, most of the metered taxi drivers charge fare in the range of Dh5 to Dh10 for a 3-5km ride, which is 25 per cent of my daily wage. I land up paying this kind of amount on taxi fare alone. Prior to the introduction of metered taxi, it was less expensive and life was easy," he said.

Ali Sayed said that the drivers of metered taxi are trying to take more money from passengers, either by taking a longer route to the destination or by pretending that they don't have adequate change with them so that the passengers have to forgo the amount less than Dh1.

Nazik Sameer said: "The taxis with meters take longer route and I find it is normally in excess than what I used to pay earlier. They take longer routes; and when they are asked as to why they have taken this route, they say they have missed a turn or want to avoid traffic jam."

John Naryan said: "I arrived in the UAE just three months back. When I told a taxi driver to take me to a particular location, he asked me if I knew the place. When I said 'no', he tried to exploit me by taking a longer route and I ended up paying whatever was flashed on the meter."

Khan Sahib, a taxi driver, admits that some taxi driverd are cheating people but he confirmed that they can't play with the meter because it was installed by the company. He said people just need to check the meter before they hire the cab. They should be careful, he added.

Asif Ahmed said that most of the taxi drivers are not getting fixed salaries.

"Companies give them 30 per cent of the total revenue earned. Since their salaries do not exceed Dh2,500, they play different tricks to earn more. Some take crowded streets to increase the waiting fare or take a longer way to reach the location. Passengers have the right to object to this kind of malpractice and ask the driver to take the shortest route possible. If they do not pay heed to this, the passengers may report the issue to the Sharjah Transport number which is written on their taxi," he said.

He suggested that Sharjah Transport should introduce the GIP system to monitor the taxi driver. "They should have an indicative taxi fare list. In case a dispute arises between the passenger and the taxi driver, they can compare this with the indicative taxi fare list to find out whether the fare is reasonable or not," he said.

Abdul Shaheed Afdal said that taxi drivers in Sharjah make less money as compared to Dubai where there are lots of people who use taxi.

"The work in Dubai is not like Sharjah, especially during morning hours. However, it is worse in Dubai where there are lots of tourists who usually do not know the locations and the taxi driver takes advantage of this. But this affects the reputation of the UAE and may affect tourism, so the concerned authorities must put a check on this," he advised.

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