Dubai: The Roads and Transport Authority has established 54 taxi ranks across Dubai, at which taxis will wait for passengers.
A number of the ranks have been placed in Deira (more than four) and four in Umm Suqeim 3, near the Burj Al Arab.
However, there is only one in Bur Dubai - traditionally one of the busiest places in Dubai, where it is particularly difficult to find a taxi. There are three in Emirates Hills, one in Arabian Ranches, three in Mirdif and none in International City.
Eisa Abdul Rahman Al Dossari, CEO of the Public Transport Agency, said that the main aims behind establishing the taxi ranks are to: centralise taxi pick-up locations so drivers do not get lost; ease the problem of reaching high-density areas; reduce the number of complaints received; and reduce pollution from car emissions.
He would not comment about whether there would be a reduced number of taxis on the roads.
The new SMS service is linked to the unique number given to each taxi rank. If a passenger arrives at the taxi rank to find there is no taxi waiting, they should text the taxi rank number to 4774 or call a list of numbers that are due to be displayed at the designated places.
Al Dossari said that there were no plans to create a centralised taxi phone number - taxi franchises each have their own telephone numbers at the moment.
"We prefer each company to have their own number, for their own services, to encourage competition, so the taxi company can realise that their cars are giving a better service. If you keep one number for the passengers, they don't know the difference," he said.
The SMS service number (4774), however, is centralised.
Al Dossari said: "The SMS number is for all the taxi companies. When you send the SMS and there is no taxi in the ranks, we will see which is the closest taxi in that zone, whether this is Cars Taxi or Dubai Taxi [for example]. We will see who is the nearest, regardless of which company it is from."
Taxi numbers are due to be displayed at each of the ranks.
Abdul Aziz Malek, CEO, Dubai Taxi Agency, said: "There is a pole with all the numbers of the taxi companies. People should send an SMS with the location number and the taxi will come. There are instructions with all the information that a passenger wants."
Gulf News visited one of the new taxi ranks, however, and could not locate these instructions.
Taxi ranks also vary in size, depending on how many spaces are available and where they are situated.
Al Dossari added the service should cut down the number of complaints received.
"There is a lot of demand for taxis, but it is not a solution to just put more taxis on the road."
He also urged motorists not to park in the newly-established taxi rank spaces.
A free map has been distributed amongst drivers and is free to the public, showing the taxi rank locations and corresponding numbers. However, there are a number of mistakes with the rank number locations, which may prove confusing for both drivers and passengers.
What to do: Send text if no taxi
Go to one of the new taxi ranks (for a full list, go to www.gulfnews.com/nation)
If there is no taxi waiting, send an SMS with the rank/location number to 4774. A receipt should be sent to you. If you are not at the rank, the taxi driver should call you.
Alternatively, ring one of the taxi numbers:
- Dubai Taxi: 04 20 80 808
- Arabia Taxi: 800 272 242
- National Taxi: 600 543 322
- Cars Taxi: 800 22 77 89
- Metro Taxi: 600 566 000
New Dubai taxi rank locations:
Al Mamzar (Century Mall), Hor Al Anz East (Al Hamriya Shopping Centre and Abu Hel Center), Al Nahda (Al Mulla Plaza), Al Qusais 1 (Al Bustan Center and Dubai Grand Hotel), Al Qusais Industrial 1 (Spinney's Center), Al Tawar 1 (Union's Cooperative Society), Al Tawar 3 (Emirates Cooperative Society), Midriff (Uptown Center & West Zone Supermarket), Al Rashdiya (Al Rashdiya Shopping Centre and Al Rashdiya Clinic), Al Warqaa 1 (Diamonds Supermarket), Nad Al Hamar (Nasser Rashid Lootah Mosque), Al Garhoud (Choithram Supermarket), Al Khbaysi (DANATA), Al Muraqqabat (Al Ghurair City), Riqqat Al Bateen (Hilton Hotel, Dubai Creek), Naif (Al Sabkha Bus Station), Corniche (Fruits, Vegetables and Fish Market in Deira) Umm Hurair 2 (Raffles Hotel and the Church of the Holy Trinity), Al Karama (Lulu Centre), Al Mankhoul (Union's Cooperative Society), Al Rifa'a (New Gold Center), Al Shandaga (Carrefour), Al Jaffliya (Naturalization and Residence Office), Jumeirah 1 (The One Center) , Jumeirah 2 (Jumeirah Beach Park Gate 3), Jumeirah 3 (Union's Cooperative Society), Al Wasl (Al Mazaya Centre), Al Safa 1 (Al Safa Center and Park & Shop Supermarket), Umm Suqeim 1 (Al Abrar Mosque), Umm Suqeim 2 (Choithram Supermarket & Umm Suqeim Garden), Umm Suqeim 3 (Jumeirah Beach and the opposite side and Meena Al Salam Hotel), Al Quoz (Bowling Center), Al Quoz Industrial 1 (Time Square Centre), Al Quoz Industrial 3 (Bur Dubai Traffic Police Department), Al Barsha 1 (Kempenski Hotel), Business Bay (Burj Dubai Downtown Building 3), Al Mirkadh (Nad Al Sheba Market), Ras Al Khor 3 (Fruits and Vegetables Market), Dubai-Al Ain Road (Dubai Outlet Center), Emirates Hills 2 (Emaar Buildings), Emirates Hills 3 (Meadows Village- Spinney's and Spinney's Town Center), Arabian Ranches (Community Center).
Do you think the newly installed taxi stands will help reduce the long wait for taxis? Would you prefer going to a stand for a taxi instead of booking for one? What other steps would you recommend to improve the taxi service? Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the form below to send your comments.
Write the hotline number (BIG) at the 4 sides of the taxi so that those abusive taxi drivers can easily be reported. A taxi from Dubai to Sharjah (vise versa) always I?m faced with refusal, and if I insist drivers get angry and the worst is that push me outside to get out. If I try to report the incident to the number written on the taxi most of the time operator keeps talking and no one answer or number busy. IF THERE IS A HOTLINE COMMON TO ALL TAXI WHICH Is DIRECTLY FORCOMPLAINS THEN NO TAXI DRIVER WILL DO SUCH THINGS, IM SURE.
Posted: August 19, 2008, 10:58
I think Bur Dubai needs more taxi ranks. Is the service available for 24hours in front of shopping centers?
Posted: August 19, 2008, 10:14
The real thing is shortage in no. of taxis, what will the ranks do if there is few taxis coming with 10 times more the no. of passengers waiting for the taxi.
Posted: August 19, 2008, 09:56
This would really work, and will be very helpful to all passengers. Normally when we wait for a taxi on one side we can see an empty taxi going on the other side if we cross the road and go to the other side its vice versa.
Posted: August 19, 2008, 09:29
These are some questions that we hope RTA to answer for us. what if we wait for too long and no taxi comes despite our SMS? What if taxi drivers still refuse to take us to our desired destinations, be it a short distance or a highly crowded area? What if all taxis are occupied and how long should we wait before a taxi will come to us when we sms 4774?
Posted: August 19, 2008, 09:22
Yes definitely it will help. I appreciate RTA steps towards solving the public problems. Also link the Sharjah Taxi service with Dubai Taxi and there should be a User Friendly Electronic Feedback Panel (Same as introduced in some Banks). This will enhance the quality of services.
Posted: August 19, 2008, 09:12
We call on taxis for the lack of transport of our own. How on earth are we going to the taxi stands in the first place?
Posted: August 19, 2008, 08:33
I would rather go to taxi station than book a taxi, but taxis must be available at stations (Ranks) that is the main point. Also RTA must have taxi stations at all major bus stations; All major shopping malls (The best arrangement I have seen is at Deira City Center) Nasser Square, Ghubaiba, Ittehad Bus Station, HorAlAnz, Rashidya, SHARJAH FISH MARKET with queue facility in cool sheltered halls, where people alight from busses should find taxi easily to go further down to their final destination.
Posted: August 19, 2008, 08:14