Dubai: Taxi meters in Dubai will turn on automatically the moment a passenger enters the vehicle, curbing complaints of cheating against the cabbies, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced.

RTA will soon start installing sensors on taxis owned by Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC) that will allow the meters to start running when a passenger enters the vehicle.

A senior RTA official said the initiative will ensure the number of complaints against drivers will come down and the customer satisfaction will improve.

Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC) of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) started installing sensors in its taxi vehicles fleet.

“This initiative is based on our commitment to keep abreast with modern technologies in the field of fleet management, and provide the best services to customers to increase their level of satisfaction,” said Mohammad Yousuf Saleh, Director of Fleet Driver Affairs at DTC.

He said the project is very important in terms of regulating behaviour of taxi drivers as well as improving operational efficiency.

“The meters will operate automatically when there is a passenger in the taxi in case the driver fails to operate it for any reason, whether because of forgetfulness or deliberately, thus eliminating all unacceptable practices that can cause increase in complaints from customers,” he explained.

The upgrade not only ensures the right of passengers but also help drivers keep peace.

“I feel it is a good move. That way people stop being suspicious. I come across so many customers on a daily basis, who feel that we (cabbies) play around with the meters, this will put to rest all those claims,” said Mohammad Akhter, a taxi driver with DTC for more than four years.

Regular passengers also welcomed the move.

“Very good move, this should have been done long time ago. I can recall more than one instance when I felt that the meter was on even before I got in the taxi. The fair I paid was more than usual for the distance, but there is no point arguing with the drivers,” said Asma, a fashion designer, who uses taxi often.

The upgrade will also bring in new mechanism to follow up status of drivers and vehicles as well as to communicate with them in emergencies, crises, disasters and accidents.