Dubai: The number of cabs being booked over phone has increased by close to 16 per cent in 2011, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has said.

In 2011, the number of cabs booked by cab users through the Booking and Despatch Center at RTA's Public Transport Agency increased to 5,080,903 bookings, up by 16 per cent, as compared to 4,393,826 bookings in 2010.

The total number of calls also increased by 20.9 per cent, going up to 7,256,236 calls in 2011, as compared to the number of calls in 2010.

The center employs 95 people in order to serve customers 24 hours a day.

Adel Shakiri, Director of Transportation Systems, at the Public Transport Agency, attributed the increase to the growing demand for taxi service in Dubai Emirate and the sustained improvement in customer services offered.

"The daily average of executed taxi booking in 2011 clocked 14 thousand, meanwhile the average time taken to respond to customer calls was as low as 11 seconds, and the average duration of the call between the customer and employee was 39 seconds."

"Responses made by the automated IVR system in handling recorded booking accounted for 66 per cent and the daily average time taken for the vehicle to arrive at the customer was 12.19 minutes," he said.

The total number of taxi fleet in Dubai Emirate is currently 7,907.

The number of trips made by all taxicabs, including franchise companies, in 2011 amounted to 89,977,134 trips; which is 11 per cent higher than the number of trips made in 2010; which clocked 84,047,737 trips, said Shakiri.