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Sun 23 Mar 2008 02:44 AM

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Dubai taxis told to up their game

Drivers must undergo intensive training to improve services and eliminate fare refusal, says RTA.

Taxi firms in Dubai have been told to upgrade their services to meet public demand generated by the emirate’s unprecedented urban expansion, the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) said on Saturday.

Drivers would be expected to undergo intensive training courses in order to improve poor services, CEO of the RTA’s Public Transport Agency Eissa Abdul Rahman Al-Dosari said in a statement.

The agency had held a series of extended meetings with franchise firms Metro Taxi, Arabian and Cars, under the umbrella of the RTA Dubai Taxi Agency, Al-Dosari said.

The companies have been told to eliminate practices “such as the refusal of cab drivers to lift passengers to their destinations citing traffic bottlenecks and non-feasibility of the financial return of driving to a number of areas witnessing traffic jams”, Al-Dosari continued.

The RTA said in Feburary drivers refusing fares could soon be banned from work for up to 10 days.

A recent survey by UAE daily Gulf News found 85% of respondents had been refused taxi journeys in Dubai because of their choice of destination, while a large number complained of poor services due to driver behaviour, cost and availability.

Training was needed to prepare “professional drivers capable of dealing with all segments of the community in a polite, witty and patient, manner”, Al-Dosari said, adding that drivers should be regularly assessed in terms of skill, health and safety and environmental requirements.

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Ashok Mathew 12 years ago

I full back the complaints by citizens on the behaviour patterns of many cab drivers. Most are either rude to local citizens while try to impress only the tourists whom they think can be fleeced. I have also noticed elderly citizens especially the emaratis have been ignored when waving for a cab.

shakeel ahmed 12 years ago

I fully agree with the readers comments on the rude behaviour of certain drivers but we forget that these people are humans too... Did anybody talk to them regarding their problems, low pay, fines, no motivation, life like a machine... I have personally seen when I jumped into a taxi the other day the poor guy got a message "saying you are penalised, his fault was that as soon as the first passenger got off, i jumped in and he had no time to take the call that he was getting for a prepaid taxi service .... and the poor guy needed the loo and at last requested me if it was possible I could sit in the taxi so he could relieve himself... Yes a lot has to be done but on both fronts... after all they are not slaves!