Dubai has raised fares for all taxis from Dhs6 to Dhs10 for specified hours applicable to “only pre-booked” taxicabs through the Booking and Dispatch Centre. The drivers, however, hold a different view.
The new fare will be implemented from April 15, 2012 applying during “morning rush hours from 7am to 10am, and evening rush hours from 4pm to 8pm, from Saturday to Wednesday,” said the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Public Transport Agency at the Road and Transport Authority (RTA), Essa Abdul Rahman Al Dosari.
He added that on Thursdays, Fridays, Eids, official holidays and official events the fare will apply from 4pm to 12am (midnight).
The decision was set, among other reasons, “to minimize cabbies’ reluctance to pick up passengers, and accordingly achieve higher public satisfaction rating, and cater to the growing demand for taxi service.”
Many drivers talked to The Gulf Today expressed reservation on the new law despite the fact that pre-booked taxis account to only for 5 per cent of total taxi users.
“I wish they had increased waiting charge because that is what mainly makes us reluctant to accept messages fro dispatch centre,” said Abdul N. from Arabian Taxi.
When a passenger requests for the taxi, the RTA sends a message to the taxi drivers near the area where the passenger is, but many drivers told this reporter they don’t “rush to receive the message because normally the passengers make us wait for long.”
“Many stubbornly make you wait at their doorstep or take you to the direction where there is too much motor traffic, yet the maximum waiting charge is Dhs20. The authorities ought to have increased this waiting charge other than raising the bar high for the customers,” added Abdul.
Another driver, Hussain S. from Dubai Taxi shares similar view. “When I drive in an area with much motor traffic, I gain only about Dhs2 in 30 minutes as an addition for waiting charge, that’s why it is not easy to see taxis in areas with perennial traffic congestion.
“However, if the waiting charge was holding enough incentive, the service would be adequate to all over the streets and areas.”
But Al Dosari also says the fare has been increased to “provide the highest level of service to the public by deploying as many cabs as possible, and ensuring their timely arrival to customers’ points, especially during morning and evening peak hours.”
He said the decision was taken after “conducting a number of studies and field surveys to review the obstacles that plague cabdrivers’ daily work.”