Dubai taxis start charging Salik toll fees

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Passengers traveling in Dubai taxis will have to pay the AED4 (US$1.1) fee to pass through Salik toll gates from Tuesday. 

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said the toll, which was originally applicable to taxis but scrapped in December 2008, will be introduced gradually as it rolls out new meter systems for taxis across the emirate.

Several Dubai commuters told Arabian Business they were not charged the extra fare on their way to work on Tuesday.

“I took a taxi from my apartment in the Marina to Al Karama and back again this morning and wasn’t charged a single dirham extra for the toll gates at either Al Barsha or Al Safa,” said one Dubai resident, Sanjay Menon.

“I had read in the newspaper this morning that the extra fees were being introduced today and made sure to bring spare cash, but for some reason the charges weren’t applied. The whole situation is a bit confusing,” he added.

Salik gates were launched in July 2007 under a plan to cut down congestion on Dubai’s roads.

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.

The additional fee is designed to encourage more people to use the Dubai Metro, said Eisa Abdul-Rahman Al Dosari, CEO of RTA.

“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,” he said in December.

“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,” he added.

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Posted by: Sceptic

Will the Salik charge be added to the fare even when no fee will actually be paid to the RTA in circumstances where the maximum charge for the day has already been reached?

If so, this will effectively be an underhand way of increasing taxi fares in Dubai.

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