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Tue 26 Feb 2008 10:41 AM

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RTA to ban taxi drivers who refuse fares

Drivers who will not go to congested like as Sharjah, Deira and Bur Dubai face 10-day ban.

RTA to ban taxi drivers who refuse fares
CRACK DOWN: The RTA will ban taxi drivers who refuse to travel to congested areas of Dubai. (Getty Images)

Increasing customer complaints have forced the Dubai's transport authority to crack down on taxi drivers who refuse to travel to certain areas of the city.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said on Monday that taxi drivers who receive complaints for declining to take passengers to congested areas, including Sharjah, Deira and Bur Dubai, will soon be banned from work for 10 days, UAE daily Khaleej Times reported.

Frustrated commuters are finding it almost impossible to get taxis to and from these areas during rush hour, and stories of having to wait for more than two hours for a taxi are common.

The most commonly received complaint is that drivers are refusing to carry passengers to Sharjah, preferring instead the lucrative fares of the Dubai Marina or the Gardens, according to the newspaper.

The RTA said the new 10-day punishment would be implemented very soon, without being more specific.

The crackdown on taxi drivers follows news that drink-driving motorists will face harsher penalties, including heavy fines and imprisonment under new UAE federal traffic laws to be introduced on March 1.

Heavy penalties will also apply to motorists who leave the scene of an accident or drive without a licence, a spokesperson from the Traffic Department at the Ministry of Interior said on Saturday.

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walid 12 years ago

That is the best ever story I have read about RTA. The new rules are going to solve a big problem for people who don't have car.

BUDDHADEB MOOKERJEE 12 years ago

This is a very timely action for which RTA deserves to be complimented. The problem of taxi drivers' refusal to accept passengers particularly in certain times of the day or night and to certain destinations is a serious one. Since Dubai attracts a large number of tourists and business travelers throughout the year who rely mostly on taxis the non-availability of taxis is giving Dubai a bad name which needs to be addressed sooner not later.

James 12 years ago

Yes....the RTA move to discipline and bring into line the taxi drivers who fail to pick up fare paying customers is well overdue. Lets hope they action these penalties as soon as possible. Also can the taxi drivers be taught to use indicators when changing lanes and show some respect for other road users, after all we also pay annual fees to use the roads

Glory 12 years ago

One way to alleviate the problem of taxis refusing to go to Sharjah is to allow the Sharjah based taxis to pick up fares for that destination from Dubai from designated areas - Al Qusais, BurDubai , Deira for example. At the moment, Sharjah taxis that have fares to Dubai have to return empty - a waste of energy consumption and a solution for Sharjah commuters. Co-operation would be good among the taxi companies, RTA and Municipalities to allow this to happen to alleviate the problem.

Lee 12 years ago

I am always amazed when I see people leaning into a taxi drivers window "asking" the taxi driver about the location the people want to go. This is how fares are refused. I suggest people get into the taxi, close the door, then tell the driver where you want to go. The driver may not be happy to go to Sharjah but one you are in the taxi how will they kick you out. If the taxi driver gives you a hard time then ring the taxi company while you are in the taxi. The driver will quickly change his attitude.

Paul 12 years ago

Lee, most taxi drivers lock their doors - that's why we have to lean in and 'ask'. I find reading the number off the side of the cab out loud and then calling RTA there and then makes them change their minds pretty quickly. As well as having a punishment system for bad drivers, there should also be a reward system for the good ones too. Some of the cab drivers here are brilliant, polite and quick, and they deserve recognition.

Pinto 12 years ago

Thank you RTA for finally taking action on these taxi drivers who refuse to stop and refuse to take passengers to congested areas. I have experienced this attitude from taxi-drivers several times. When i stop the taxi, they just changed the lane and fled. They only stop for either Europeans or tourists not for other expats. I have witnessed this. I have seen Asian pregnant woman waiting for more 2 hours for a taxi and at least 4-5 taxi drivers refusing to stop for her in Bur Dubai. I hope that this new action by the RTA will help the commuters to reach their destinations on time. Once again Thank you RTA.

Kamlesh 12 years ago

I would like to pat on RTA management to take such decision. RTA should take strict action on such drivers. Even I too have many issues with taxis drivers attitude for taking either shorter route or congested roads at peak times. God Bless Dubai Taxis and Taxis Drivers.

RAFAEL RODRIGO 11 years ago

RTA, I am complaining a taxi driver who refused to drive me from karama center to regent hotel at 1:30P.M. Friday, August 22, 2008. Dubai taxi plate number 48301. Your immediate action is highly appreciated.

Ray 11 years ago

It's been 8 months since this story has been published and things are no better. Taxi's in dubai are by far the worst i've seen in my life (and i've visited many countries), not only do they complain about destination and distance to destination, drivers are often rude. They complain all the way to the destination (if you can get them to take you) and expect a tip at the end. Most when threatened by reporting to the RTA actually give you their taxi number to complain! Leading me to assume RTA do not live up to their promises... Oh and Lee, taxi drivers will actually physically remove you from their cars if they dont want to take you. I've seen it happen and its happened to me!