Dubai: The Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC) will add 2,000 taxis to its fleet in the next five years, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced on Saturday.

A wholly-owned subsidiary of RTA, DTC operates roughly half of Dubai’s fleet of 9,500 taxis and will increase its presence by 40 per cent as part of its new five-year plan.

Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA, recently approved the five-year plan of DTC projects and investment initiatives for 2016-21.

The plan also envisages a massive upgrade to DTC’s limousine and school bus services.

“The number of taxis operated by DTC is set to rise from 5,000 to 7,000 cabs by 2021, while the number of limousines is set to leapfrog by as much as 340 per cent from 113 vehicles to 500 vehicles during the same period,” said Al Tayer

He added: “The increase in the number of taxis is required to cater to the growing needs of customers comprising residents and visitors as well as the requirements of hosting the Expo 2020 in Dubai.”

The five-year plan also includes converting 50 per cent of taxis into hybrid vehicles by 2021 as part of a master plan to curb carbon emissions in the taxi sector by 2 per cent as stipulated by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and the Green Economy transition.

According to the government policy, 50 per cent of the fleet of all the five franchises are required to comprise hybrid taxis. DTC has announced the number of hybrid vehicles will soar from 145 to 2,280 in 2021.

DTC, which entered the school transport sector last year, is planning to have a major upgrade of its services by 2021.

“RTA is determined to overhaul the school transport sector with a view to offering safe and smooth mobility for all students of various ages, and playing a leading role in delivering premium transit services for students in a safe environment,” said Al Tayer.

He added: “Our intention is also to encourage parents to have their wards transported by school buses rather than private vehicles, support the UAE education strategy 2020, improve the calibre of the school transport service in Dubai, and strike a balance between supply and demand in the sector.”

According to the plan, the number of school buses in operation would rise from 117 to more than 650 buses by 2021.

The plan also covers improving the recently launched Customers Relation Management System, and finalising the initial phase of upgrading the smart apps project by enabling limousine booking service via DTC Limo App, or dialling the Customers Care Centre number (042080555).