Booking-only taxis added to Dubai fleet

Booked taxis should arrive faster from Friday, with 155 new booking-only cars added to the Dubai taxi fleet.

The distinctive black-and-grey vehicles will only respond to bookings and will not be allowed to pick up passengers on the street in a bid to address long waiting times for booked cars.

Twenty-five of the vehicles, coloured black and pink, will be dedicated to women only.

Roads and Transport Authority CEO Yousef Al Ali said the additional taxis would help improve tourists’ experience in the emirate as well as help cope with the growing number of cars booked through the dispatch centre.

About 12,000 bookings are made each year, he said.

The taxis will be part of a new fleet called Hala. More cars could be added if the initial phase is successful, Al Ali said.

“The underlying objective of HALA Taxi is to cater to the public needs and meet the growing number of requests received by the dispatch centre at the agency, under the objective of raising customers’ satisfaction,” Al Ali said.

“The service is also meant to ... provide an effective mechanism for handling the public complaints forwarded to the dispatch centre, accelerate the dispatch of cabs to customers, provide better coverage to high-demand areas through the centre, improve the rate of cabdrivers response to the bookings of the centre, and augment the revenues of the dispatch centre through expanding the delivery of the service in a more distinctive and professional manner.”

The same fare will apply for booked taxis – AED6 between 6am-10pm and Dh7 between 10pm-6am.

Customers will be able to pay using mechanisms recently introduced - Nol card, credit card or mobile payment, as well as cash.

The cars also will be fitted with Wifi, which is presently being added to the entire Dubai taxi fleet.

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