By Amy Glass
Campaign to stop Dubai taxi drivers refusing fares to some areas is failing, says poll.
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) campaign to stop Dubai taxi drivers refusing to take passengers to certain destinations is failing, according to ArabianBusiness.com readers.
Nearly 65% of ArabianBusiness.com poll respondents said taxi drivers still decline to take them to congested areas such as Sharjah, Deira and Bur Dubai, despite RTA threats that such drivers will be banned from work for 10 days.
Nearly 20% of readers said they have noticed an improvement in the attitudes of taxi drivers, but they still sometimes have to wait for hours to get a cab to areas that experience congestion.
Only 3% of poll respondents said Dubai cab drivers no longer decline their fares, while the remaining poll respondents said they never took taxis in the emirate.
The findings are in contrast with a study conducted by the RTA which found a 74% drop in complaints against Dubai taxi drivers for refusing fares.
The RTA said there had been a clear drop in cab drivers refusing to take passengers to various destinations, after a wide-ranging inspection and monitoring campaign by the agency.
Employees from the agency had conducted a field campaign from March 1 to March 10, in order to gauge the behaviour of Dubai taxi drivers.
Essa Abdul Rahman Al Dossari, CEO of the RTA’s Public Transport Agency said there was a drop in the number of refusal offences from 46 offences per day in the first three days of the campaign, to 12 offences per day in the last three days of the campaign.
This represented a drop of 74% in the daily average of offences, he said.
The field team issued 276 tickets to drivers refusing to take passengers during the campaign, and two drivers were fired due to negative attitudes towards the public.
Last month the RTA said increasing customer complaints had forced the crackdown on taxi drivers who refused to travel to certain areas of the city.
Drivers who received such complaints face being banned from work for 10 days, the RTA said.
It is true that drivers would still refuse passengers who live in the areas mentioned... apart from that when you try to wave and get their attention, they make it a point not to look at you as if you were invisible. I think it's better to impose a fine on them and at the same reward drivers who were not refusing passengers - how to do that? I don't know but the RTA should come up with a rewards system.
I think that the RTA should look at the root cause of the problem, which is that the Taxi companies do not take any moral responsibility and force their drivers to pay them certain amounts of daily returns. What will a poor taxi driver do if he spends two hours of his day for a Dhs12 fare? How will he shell out 200-300 Dhs to the taxi company? If this continues, there will be time when a taxi driver will pay you 5 Dhs so that you dont ask him to take you to Deira or Sharjah!! RTA please take note and hope that you will crackdown and layout policies for the Taxi companies as well.
My uncle is here in Dubai for heart surgery in a hospital in Qusais. My cousin and aunt who are accompanying him mentioned to me that almost every taxi driver with lights on never stops and waves the "no signal". When they call for a taxi they have to wait for more than an hour and have to call the cab company several times. I am helping them personally for transportation in the evenings but sometimes I am also busy due to office work. Now you tell me with this type of attitude do we expect that Dubai can promote Medical tourism or even normal tourism? Itâ€™s a pathetic situation. I have no faith in the cab companies or RTA. Either they should increase the number of cabs or something else. When I was at the hospital I also saw many other patients and their visitors struggling to find a taxi. Whoever is responsible, Shame on you!
Most of the taxi drivers I have met usually complain about the salary. Drivers working for a private company get twice the salary and get looked after well, whereas I guess the Cab companies are squeezing them. With low moral how does one expect these people to perform above and beyond? I think these Cab companies need to invest in their people, giving them better training, salary and benefits out of their profits. RTA should set standards for these Cab companies and not just impose pressure without understanding the real cause of the problem.
Dubai Taxi drivers... they graduate from the RTA in "How to give EXCUSES for not taking passengers", and they are very good in psychoanalysing, in one look they judge your destination. and they know the spots where usually passengers wave for taxis in split second they take fast lane and speed away from you... I give up... I have decided to buy a CAR to contribute my part of the traffic congestion. I am sorry.
Dubai needs to wake up - the number of taxis are just not enough. It is just a nightmare.