Signs cabbies can’t ignore

THE Roads and Transport Authority has wielded the stick and told those driving the public crazy that discipline will rule Dubai’s taxi services. Which means cabs, of all hues, will stop when you hail one next.

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Published: Wed 21 Mar 2007, 8:34 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:58 AM

Once Dubai’s taxis were known for their excellent and passenger-friendly services. They maintained high standards of discipline, be it in appearance, words or deeds, and it’s rarely ever that they took passengers ‘round and round’, something that taxi-drivers in many other cities are quite used to. That’s why tourists had always had a good word to say about our taxis. But, something went wrong, along the way.

Drivers are human, too. Yet what is it that makes them look the other way and drive on when we need them to stop and pick us up? It might have something to do with the strain in their life, spent mostly on the roads. Of late, traffic jams are such a curse, that anyone who’s treated to one for an hour knows he/she has lost the nerve to carry on for the rest of the day. There, at least for now, is no easy escape.

And, yet, as compared to others, the plight of these poor souls —the taxi-drivers, who have no way but to make a life out of this mess — are worse off. There are other problems as well, like their extended working hours, and the conditions that taxi companies impose on them in relation to their service requirements. There clearly is a need for more flexibility and more understanding of these men’s work-related problems.

Be that as it may, it is important that taxis must stop. For the performance of taxis (and their drivers) is a major yardstick to gauge the performance of a city as such. And, since taxis provide an essential service they must be maintained and operated in a disciplined manner; Taxi drivers must shape up, or ship out.

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