Abu Dhabi to withdraw 500 old taxis from service
By Binsal Abdul Kader, Staff Reporter GULF NEWS Published: January 29, 2008, 23:39
Abu Dhabi: About 500 taxis from the old fleet will be withdrawn from the capital’s streets this month, Trans AD, the taxi regulatory authority, told Gulf News.
“We are withdrawing the gold and white taxis [old taxis] in accordance with the increasing number of new taxis,” said Huda Al Ka’abi, Communication Officer at Trans AD.
“About 800 new taxis are on the streets now and the number is increasing day by day.”
She said more than 900 drivers have received their registration so far and some of them are undergoing training.
“About 7,600 old taxis operate in the emirate and 500 will be phased out every two months,” said Sultan Mohammad Al Shamsi, Director of Customer Services and Compliance Division at Trans AD.
“Although about 8,000 registered old taxis are in the emirate, about 400 were non-operational for a long time.” He said the compensation for old taxi owners will be distributed by next month.
The first batch of new taxis commenced operations on November 4, 2007 with 300 taxis [which gradually increased to about 800] and the phasing out of old taxis has started this month. Trans AD authorised seven national companies to operate in the emirate and over 7,000 new taxis are expected to be on the roads in the near future; over a thousand by each franchisee.
One of the franchisees said they are planning to introduce their quota of 1,021 taxis within six months.
Complaints about language skills and local knowledge of drivers are also strictly dealt with, said Huda Al Ka’abi, Communication Manager.
“People have to call up the hotline number 600535353 with the taxi number and we test the language skills of the driver.” If he is unable to speak, he will be sent back for a month of training.