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Thu 5 Sep 2019 11:09 AM

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Dubai RTA's to phase out phone booking service for taxis

Phone booking service to be phased out in favour of new e-hailing service Hala

Dubai RTA's to phase out phone booking service for taxis
Almost 5,500 taxis, around half of the entire RTA fleet run by seven franchises, are now bookable on the Careem app.

Customers will soon be unable to phone and book a Dubai taxi as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) phases the system out in favour of the new e-hailing service Hala, which was officially launched this month.

Almost 5,500 taxis, around half of the entire RTA fleet run by seven franchises, are now bookable on the Careem app.

Ahmed Hashim Bahrozyan, CEO of Public Transport Agency at the RTA, is quoted by Gulf News as saying the RTA call centre will remain, but the plans are to “phase out” the booking service for taxis, although he stressed this would be done over time.

Hala started a trial for Dubai Taxis in May on 2,000 vehicles whereby rides were booked using the Careem app and the service saw substantial growth over a number of weeks, with it being rated at no less than 4 out of 5 stars.

The estimated time of arrival reached an average of 4.5 minutes versus previous average of 12-14 minutes, aiming to reach an ETA of 3 minutes in September.

Some 550 taxis have been branded with Hala wrap.

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