A taxi passing through the slip road near Al Barsha toll gate. Some passengers are complaining that few taxies are being charged salik even on the slip road. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: A technical glitch with the Salik system is adding to the misery of taxi passengers as they are made to pay toll charges even if the taxis don’t pass through the gates.

Already miffed by the re-introduction of Salik toll charges on taxis, most passengers taking the slip road adjacent to the Al Barsha toll gate near the Mall of the Emirates on Shaikh Zayed Road are charged an additional Dh4.

Several Gulf News readers complained that they have had to pay the toll when the taxis they were riding on passed through the Al Barsha service road even though they didn’t pass through the Salik gate.

“I have been charged toll more than once while riding on a taxi on the service road next to Al Barsha toll gate. When I asked the cab driver he had no answer and I had to pay Dh4 extra, which is ridiculous,” said an irked resident.

At least four taxi drivers confirmed to Gulf News that they have experienced this issue since the re-introduction of toll charges on taxis and have had to fight with passengers.

“There is a problem, which needs to be fixed soon, otherwise customers will continue to think we are cheating. I understand the plight of the passengers and it is difficult to convince them that it is not our fault,” said Yaqoub, a Dubai Taxi Driver.

Another cab driver, Anwer Mukhtar, also said he has experienced the problem in the area more than once.

“It is unfair for the passengers but it is not in our hands, RTA has to solve the issue soon, otherwise it will be a headache for us,” said Mukhtar, who has been a cab diver for the last four years.

Abdul Majid Kutty, with Dubai Taxi, said that there is a pattern to the issue. “I have observed that whenever I have passed through the Al Safa toll gate before coming to Al Barsha I have been charged toll here, so I feel there is something wrong with the way the system is programmed,” observed Kutty.

A senior RTA official admitted that there is a glitch with the system and it is being sorted out.

“We know that there is a problem. We have received a few complaints, but it is very low. There is some signal issue and some taxis have been tolled wrongly,” said Adel Shakri, Director of Transportation Systems Department at RTA’s Public Transport Agency.

He added that those customers who complain of being tolled wrongly are being refunded.

“We are issuing refunds immediately and we will rectify the problem in the next two weeks,” he said.