300 new taxis to ease Abu Dhabi shortage

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300 new taxis to ease Abu Dhabi shortage
By Binsal Abdul Kader, Staff Reporter GULF NEWS

Abu Dhabi: Residents will not face a shortage of taxis anywhere in the emirate at any particular time as a high-tech monitoring system to ensure the availability of taxis everywhere will be introduced soon, a senior official said.

“If any passenger informs the call centre about the non-availability of taxis at any particular area, the system can despatch more taxis there,” Khalid Saleh Al Rashedi, General Manager of Trans AD, which was previously known as Centre for Regulation of Transport by Hire Cars.

“A device installed in the cars, called ‘MDT’ developed by CERT technology will make it possible.”

He spoke to Gulf News yesterday after launching new taxis at a ceremony at Emirates Palace Hotel auditorium.

About 300 sleek new silver taxis hit the city roads today. The basic fare will be raised from the current Dh2 to Dh2.6 for standard cars and Dh3 for premium cars (which will be clearly marked).

“The monitoring system and some other facilities like credit card payments will be introduced with the launch of a second batch of about 800 taxis at the end of December. We launched the taxis without such advanced facilities to solve the shortage of taxis in the city,” he added.

Replying to a question he said an online system for the public to track their complaints against taxis will be considered. “Residents can register their complaints with the present system by calling 600535353 and we will surprise the public with immediate solutions,” said Rashedi.

By the end of 2008, Trans AD, the single regulatory authority in the hire car sector, will replace the majority of existing taxis.

Seven companies have been authorised to run 7,147 taxis in the emirate out of which 70 per cent (about 5,005) will be in Abu Dhabi city, 29 per cent (about 2,072) in Al Ain and one per cent (70) in Western region,” said Sultan Mohammad Al Shamisi, Director, Customer Services and Compliance Division.

The companies which successfully applied to run a taxi franchise operation are: Tawasul Transport; Arabia Taxi; Cars Taxi; Emirates Taxi; National Taxi; Q-Link Transport, and Al Ghazal Transport. They will be regulated by the Centre for Regulation of Transport by Hire Cars, which today also announced its name change to Trans AD and revealed its new corporate logo.

Taxi drivers also benefit from the new scheme. All taxi drivers will now be registered as private company employees, with an agreed optimum wage and additional benefits.

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