A total of 8,000 taxis have been equipped with the electronic payment system that will allow commuters to pay through credit card and Nol cards. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Nol and credit card payment system is now available in the majority of taxis in Dubai, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has confirmed.

A total of 8,000 taxis have been equipped with the electronic payment system that will allow commuters to pay through credit card and Nol cards.

“The roll-out of this project is being done in phases. As the fleet of taxis is constantly increasing, the electronic payment deployment is carried out accordingly,” said Moosa Al Raisi, director of Transportation Systems at RTA’s Public Transport Agency.

The number of taxis has increased significantly over the last two years, with the current fleet strength standing at 9,500 cabs across the six franchises.

Phase two of the project is currently under way and the electronic payment mode is expected to be on board the entire fleet by the end of this year.

“The installation of electronic payment system will be completed in the second phase of the project, which began early this year and will cover the entire fleet, including the newly introduced taxis,” he added.

The cash-free payment service has had its issues, with many commuters complaining that the system is not reliable.

Responding to the complaints Al Raisi said that the service is still new and, like all new services, will have its teething issues.

“The service is recently implemented and we are constantly working on making it smooth and accessible to all. We are encouraging drivers to promote the new payment modes,” said Al Raisi.

The upgrade has opened up four payment options in taxis — cash, credit and debit cards, Nol and NFC-enabled mobile payment.

All Nol cards — silver, blue and gold — are applicable for payment, but a Dh2 service charge will be added per trip for payment through credit card and Dh1 extra will be charged per trip for Nol payment.

Unlike in buses and the metro, commuters need not tap the Nol reader on entering the taxi.

The card is tapped only at the end of the journey if the commuter opts to pay through Nol card and the fare will deducted from the card’s e-purse. In case of credit card, the process will be similar to what is currently available in retail outlets.

Meanwhile, the smart taxi meter roll out is also under way and, by the end of this year, 30 per cent of the taxis will be equipped with smart meters.

The smart digital metres will calculate fares based on accurate GPS-fed distance measurement, while also having new LED taxi lights on top.

The smart meters also feature 3D maps, weather information, integrated payment system as well as a state-of-the-art information system.

Among the capabilities of the new meter is sending road safety messages to the driver, showing weather conditions on the route as well as at the destination.

Other features include an application that will help people with hearing impairment communicate with drivers in a better way.