Roads and Transport Authority says new charges aim to push more commuters to Dubai Metro
Dubai's transport authority confirmed on Wednesday it is planning to reapply Salik charges to all taxis from the middle of January 2013.
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said in a statement that the move was aimed at encouraging more people to use the Dubai Metro system.
It added that the Salik charges would be reintroduced gradually as taxi meter systems will need to be upgraded so charges are added automatically without any intervention from the driver.
The AED4 ($1.10) toll was originally applicable to taxis, but was scrapped in December 2008 after continued complaints. Salik gates were launched in July 2007 under a plan to cut down congestion on Dubai’s roads,
Eisa Abdul-Rahman Al Dosari, CEO of RTA Public Transport Agency, said: "The decision will be applied gradually as RTA staff will be working on upgrading taxi meter systems of a specific number of taxis on daily basis starting from the middle of next month".
The official said the procedure would "clearly contribute to easing the traffic flow by re-routing the vehicular movement" on a number of roads in the emirate.
"Most notably, it is set to ease the pressure on Sheikh Zayed Road, and encourage commuters to use the Dubai Metro in their daily travels," Al Dosari added.
Under the new system, taxi passengers will be given the option of using Salik gates by the driver, the statement said.
"The RTA will continue to develop innovative solutions capable of upgrading the business conduct of all RTA agencies and sectors, besides offering smooth, speedy and excellent services to the widest number of customers possible, spanning citizens, residents, visitors and tourists in keeping with the reputed profile of Dubai as a premier business hub in the region," added Al Dosari.
The cash raised has since become a key source of income for the RTA, which expects revenues from the toll to reach AED5bn by 2013.
Dubai relies on fees and taxes for around 77 percent of its budget revenue.