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• Al Tayer inspecting DTC services RTA Image Credit:

DUBAI: Dubai Taxis has clocked 682 million journeys, lifting more than one billion riders since it began operations in the UAE in 1995.

Making this revelation during a recent visit to Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC), Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), said the taxi fleet recorded an exponential growth from 81 to 5,201 vehicles till December 2019, with the number of drivers equally increasing from 886 to 11,500, the number of staff from 23 to 1,131 employees and the taxi services from a single service to 13 services during the period.

Al Tayer met with DTC staff members in the presence of Abdul Mohsen Ibrahim Younes, CEO of Rail Agency and Head of DTC Supervisory Board; Dr Yousef Al Ali, CEO of DTC; and several directors of RTA and DTC.

During the visit, he was briefed on artificial intelligence (AI) implementations in improving taxi services. DTC uses AI to strike a balance between supply and demand for the taxi service, analyse trip details and direct the fleet to demand hotspots. AI is also used to improve safe driving practices through monitoring the conduct of drivers and verifying their compliance with safe driving standards.

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• DTC offers diverse services COURTESY RTA

Al Tayer also reviewed the latest update of the DTC smart app, which covers regular taxis, limo services, electric limo and Amira limo. The app has reduced the average time of dispatching taxis to clients to 6.5 minutes, besides offering an array of taxi services like DTC My Driver (sending a driver), In Safe Hands, Amira and People of Determination taxi services.

Al Tayer was also briefed on the automation of taxi services at Terminal 3 of Dubai Airport aimed at increasing the number of taxis in operation, streamlining the dispatch of taxis and slashing the waiting time from 11 to five minutes. The project opens new channels for booking taxis at the time of buying a ticket or via screens on aircraft seats, DTC app or smart devices at the airport concourse. For the success of the project, DTC capitalised on AI and Big Data analysis technologies.

Al Tayer inspected the new generation of Toyota hybrid vehicles added to Dubai Taxi fleet, which reduce fuel consumption and carbon emission by as much as 47 per cent. The procurement of these vehicles is part of RTA’s commitment to the Green Mobility Strategy aimed at increasing the proportion of electric and hybrid new vehicles purchased or hired annually by government bodies to 10 per cent in 2020.

The step goes in line with Dubai’s strategy to reduce carbon emissions by 16 per cent in 2021, and RTA’s plan to transform 50 per cent of Dubai Taxi fleet into hybrid vehicles by 2021. Al Tayer also inspected the Tesla Model 3 vehicle and the hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, Toyota Mirai.

He was pleased with the operational results, initiatives and plans of DTC and called for capitalising on AI technologies and smart systems in the taxi sector. He stressed the importance of using technologies in driving up the performance level, boosting the integration of transit systems and easing the mobility of customers that will add to their happiness.