Abu Dhabi taxis to be fitted with tracking system
By Binsal Abdul Kader, Staff Reporter GULF NEWS Published: March 03, 2008, 12:11
Abu Dhabi: Residents will soon be able to pay taxi fares through credit cards, Trans AD, the Centre for Regulation of Transport by Hire cars in the capital, announced on Monday.
This is one of the features of the Tracking and Dispatch system which has been implemented in a sample of cars, said Khalid Saleh Al Rashedi, General Manager of Trans AD at a press briefing in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
“Apart from the credit card facility, we are planning to introduce prepaid smart cards which is being studied,” he said.
The Tracking and Dispatch system has been tested on about 70 new taxis in the capital now and it will be fully implemented by the end of June 2008. “We are trying hard to complete the implementation in four phases even before the stipulated time.” It will help the people to avoid waiting for taxis. They can just call up the call centre which can track the taxis available nearby and dispatch them to the passengers.”
The officials said taxis can be booked in advance or planned future trips. The nearest available taxi to the customer’s location will be automatically dispatched using the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite system. The system will inform the customer of the taxi number and the estimated time for arrival through the state-of -the-art Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS).
Taxis are fitted with an advanced mobile data terminal that displays fare details and progress from pick up point to destination on a map. Customers can monitor the progress and make sure that the taxi is taking an appropriate route from pick up point to drop -off point.
Transport: Fleet to be increased
Trans AD said the number of new taxis in the emirate will be increased to 1,500.
“More than 850 new taxis are on the streets now”, said an official. About 500 old taxis (Gold and White) have been phased out since January 2008. Compensation ATM cards have been given to old licensed taxi owners to receive monthly payment of Dh1,000.
Almost all 8,000 taxis have been given identification numbers to enable passengers to easily file complaints.
Khalid Al Rashedi, General Manager of Trans AD urged the public to report complaints at the call centre 600535353.