News | UAE

Dubai taxis drive up satisfaction

RTA scheme holding taxi firms accountable for bad behaviour of staff credited for improved services

  • By Rayeesa Absal, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 21:20 September 23, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Javed Nawab/Gulf News Archives
  • The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has started imposing fines on taxi companies if the number of complaints against their fleet breach the limit set by the agency

Dubai: There is a decline in complaints against taxi drivers and companies after traffic officials introduced a new fine scheme in Dubai, Gulf News has learnt.

Most of the complaints involve misbehaving drivers, who were held responsible.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has also started imposing fines on taxi companies if the number of complaints against their fleet breach the limit set by the agency.

As a result, complaints against taxi services have come down significantly, a senior official told Gulf News.

A total of 3,760 complaints ranging from refusal to convey passengers, misbehavior, delays to reckless driving were recorded in January. The number dropped to 1,992 in August.

There are five licensed taxi companies in the emirate.

“The new measure has proved to be very helpful in bringing down the number of complaints as well as the number of fines issued to cab drivers,” Furat Ali Al Amri, Director of Franchise and Monitoring at the RTA, said.

“The companies were notified that if the complaints are beyond the limit set by RTA they will be fined.”

From June, the RTA began issuing fines to erring companies. As a result, the complaints dropped from 2,656 in June, to 2,532 in July and further to 1,992 in August, Al Amri said.

“The fines encourage the companies to maintain stringent customer service quality.”

In addition to the fines, increased focus on training the drivers and improving benefits provided to them have also helped the figures, he said.

“Educating drivers about etiquette, customer service, personal hygiene and other aspects has had a positive impact.”

Repeat offenders, who fail to improve even after training, are terminated from the service. However, this is done only as a last resort.

Complaints such as disrespect of RTA inspectors are taken very seriously; as two such complaints within a year could result in a driver getting sacked.

September marks the beginning of the season for events, as well as an increased influx of tourists, and several inspections will be organised to ensure the quality of cab services, Al Amri said.

In a recent survey by Dubai Police, 96 per cent of the 2,050 Dubai residents who took part in the survey said they felt safe when riding a taxi at night.

RTA opened the doors of the Taxi Drivers Training and Qualification Centre in January this year. It was made mandatory for anyone wanting to work as a taxi driver in Dubai to undergo training and get certified at the centre.

The integrated training course offered to drivers is accredited by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority and includes 240 training hours of practical and theoretical lessons. It covers 26 topics such as safe driving, customer service, meter function, traffic accidents and offences.

Comments (6)

  1. Added 12:26 September 24, 2012

    Some taxi drivers are always looking for long distance passengers. They show a disgruntled expression for short distance passengers. The drivers first ask the passengers their destination point before letting them board the taxi. Drivers must bear in mind that they work for public transport department and not a private company.

    Anonymous, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 11:49 September 24, 2012

    How about for Abu Dhabi Taxi drivers? Can we complain for the same?

    Ed, Abu Dhabi, Philippines

  3. Added 11:18 September 24, 2012

    I would like to shed some light on this article. Some taxi drivers are still very ruthless, I tried to reach the customer support to complain about one taxi driver, where he first refused to pick up, and then started abusing language, shouting and when I tried to call up customer support to file a complaint to my surprise, it was busy. What RTA is going to do about such drivers? To my surpise he can't even wait for 2 min. The excuse is to say that RTA fines them or their company fines them if they find them waiting. Is this true? please clear this for end passengers and also whom we can reach in such situations? Dubai has very good reputation, but such customer service is not appectable. we dont ask for ZERO tolerrance, but it leaves bad remark.

    Roshan, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 10:52 September 24, 2012

    Lately i have noticed some taxis are now speeding on highways. as per what i know their vehicle speed were being monitored. Driving on the speed track, over 140kms, overtaking, flashing, etc. all of this with a full load of passengers. not good

    Pradeep, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 10:28 September 24, 2012

    I experience the driver eating tobacco inside the cab. Aside on that the taxi is fully air conditioned and I have asthma. I told to the driver to please clean the taxi before he uses it and avoid eating tobacco if they have a passenger. The Dubai taxi is good for me and the rest four is worst it.

    Ramon Estores, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 09:33 September 24, 2012

    I live in Qusais Al Nahda Dubai, it's really difficult for my wife to get a taxi for picking up and dropping off the kids at schools. A taxi drivers told he knew when a lady wants taxi in morning or in afternoon for going to school, which may be very near and they are looking a passenger for longer route. Some time drivers refused to take her and didn't want to wait as well. I need to know whom should i complain about this to.

    Mohiballah Kazim, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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