Booking taxis in Dubai to get dearer

Taxi passengers will have to pay Dh4 more to book a cab as fares will rise to Dh10 from Dh6 during peak hours with effect from April 15, it was announced on Tuesday.


Asma Ali Zain

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Published: Wed 11 Apr 2012, 9:50 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 2:29 PM

Officials said the move was aimed at ‘forcing’ taxi drivers to pick up pre-booked customers and improve service as well as increase their incomes. On an average, 15,000 customers pre-book taxis daily. Pre-booked taxis account for five per cent of total taxi users.

The revised flag-down rate is applicable only on taxis being booked through the RTA’s Booking and Dispatch Centre during morning rush hours from 7 to 10am and evening rush hours from 4 to 8pm from Saturday to Wednesday. On Thursdays, Fridays, Eids, official holidays and official events, the new fare willbe applicable from 4pm to midnight only.

“Taxi drivers have lots of choices. Despite being fined, nobody wants to pick up pre-booked customers when they can easily find someone on the road,” said Essa Abdul Rahman Al Dosari, CEO of the RTA Public Transport Agency.

“The rise in the fare will boost the income of the drivers and also make more taxis available at the dispatch centre,” he said.

He also said the RTA had taken the decision after conducting a number of studies and field surveys to review the cab drivers’ daily work issues as well as to seek ways to improve services to customers.

“Normal booking fares of Dh6 will apply during other times,” he explained. The decision will be applicable to taxicabs run by the Dubai Transport Corporation as well as franchise companies.

“The decision will also minimise cabbies reluctance to pick up passengers,” he added.

Residents, however, were sceptical of the decision. “It is not easy to find a taxi during peak hours and many times I have had to walk home. Sometimes, I book a taxi but now that too will be more expensive,” said a schoolteacher who works in Qusais.

Regular taxi commuters also pointed towards the difficulty of finding taxis on the metro routes as most taxis are reserved by passengers at the metro stations.

“The taxi booking service is very useful for people living in areas with little access by public transport. And if this, too, is becoming expensive then it will be difficult for us,” said Aysha Gul, a university student.

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