Residents slam Dh20 inter-emirate taxi charge - UAE INFO

Oct 30, 2008

Residents slam Dh20 inter-emirate taxi charge

Dubai: Many residents say that the Dh20 minimum taxi fares is nothing but 'daylight robbery'. They said that instead of looking to strengthen alternate public transport the authorities are making it more costly to commute between Dubai and Sharjah.

Authorities in both emirates have announced their plans to increase the minimum fares of metered taxis for commuting from Sharjah to Dubai and back. The current metered taxi in Sharjah starts from Dh2.50 during day time and Dh3.30 after dark. Similarly in Dubai the current charges stand at Dh3 and the Dh3.50 after 10pm.

Many members of the public said they failed to see any logic in how the increase in the minimum taxi fares will encourage them to hire taxis. Agreeing that fare increase will serve as an incentive for them to pick up more passengers to Dubai and Sharjah, taxi drivers said they still need to battle traffic congestion on the highway.

On speaking to taxi drivers both in Sharjah and Dubai it was learnt that one of the main reasons for them to refuse passengers to Dubai and to Sharjah and on occasions within each emirate is due to the snarling traffic.

Calling it a complete waste of his time if he takes a passenger from Sharjah to Dubai K.M., a Pakistani taxi driver, said: "I am just disappointed that the companies do not take the drivers' feedback when they introduce any such rules. It takes me no less than two hours to drive a passenger to Dubai, while I can utilise the same time in making three to four trips within Sharjah."

He said the Dh20 minimum fare might hit the taxi companies in terms of revenue. "There are four franchise taxis operating in Sharjah, still the public keep complaining of lack of taxis, now with the fare increase, the demand for taxis will fall," he said.

Unable to comprehend the impending increase in minimum taxi fare Simi Chandran, a Dubai resident, said: "Taxis are not available within Dubai even if you book it well in advance. For instance last week I booked a cab for 5.30 in the evening from my office on Shaikh Zayed road. The booking was made at 3.00. I called again at 4.30 to confirm by booking. But at 5.40 when I called the call centre to enquire, they said they will make one more booking for me but there is no guarantee that I will get one. At 6.30, when I called for the third time, the agent told me none were available."

Hanif Mohammad a Dubai resident said: "For the common man the need of the hour is a good public transport system." Jassem Abdullah, an Emirati, said: "The increase in minimum taxi fare will encourage residents to buy cars or go for illegal taxis."

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