Abu Dhabi: Taxi drivers in Abu Dhabi will soon be required to pass theory and practical tests conducted by the taxi regulatory authority, in collaboration with international testing centres.

The Centre for Regulation of Transport by Hire Cars (TransAD) will launch a training and accreditation programme for public and private taxi drivers. The programme is designed to improve the overall performance of taxi drivers in the capital, said a press release issued by TransAD yesterday.

TransAD developed the programme based on its exposure to local and international practices and a thorough understanding of the role of taxi drivers in improving their menu of services and meeting the public’s needs.

Composed of several stages, it includes advanced training programmes in line with the highest international standards. Lessons on driving safely, behaviour improvement sessions and the establishment of a local testing centre are just a few of its key components.

The programme’s foundation was shaped by a consumer complaint study and a survey carried out by the Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi. This is in addition to the results of the mystery consumer rounds executed daily among taxi companies.

The initiative aims to provide a modern programme equipped with the best technical and state-of-the-art training methods. A vital part is the launch of an accreditation programme that meets international standards for increased road safety, improved customer satisfaction and a robust tourism industry in Abu Dhabi.

Initially, the project will focus on taxi and limo drivers and will later include other means of transportation, such as buses and maritime transport.

TransAD would like to encourage the public to give taxis enough time to load passengers and not to hesitate to get in touch with its call centre for suggestions or complaints.