Dubai: The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has launched the Taxi Services Excellence Award to honour the best taxi company and top ten model drivers in a bid to raise the calibre of services offered to taxi users.

Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, said that the award seeks to nurture a competitive environment among taxi franchise companies.

The award, he said, also intends to motivate franchise companies, foster the values of innovation, excellence and job compliance among targeted firms, in addition to improving customer service levels, enhancing the efficiency and attitudes of cab drivers.

“The RTA is always keen to uplift the calibre of taxi service in Dubai, especially under the current Dubai drive to transform Dubai into a smart city capable of bringing happiness to residents and visitors,” he said.

The best three taxi companies in Dubai will be decorated on an annual basis in the gold, silver and bronze categories, and the winner of the Gold Category will be offered a complimentary permanent taxi number plate in addition to a grand trophy and a certificate of appreciation.

Ten model drivers will be felicitated annually. Each of them will be awarded Dh20,000. The RTA will apply the Star Rating System of the ‘Dubai Model’ to taxi companies in the context of supporting the strategic drive of the Dubai Government in improving customers’ experience and bringing happiness to people, added Al Tayer.

Taxis are vital for the daily movement of people in the emirate of Dubai and the number of people who used taxi services in Dubai during the first half of last year exceeded 217.751 million riders lifted in 108.875 million trips.

The RTA has set specific standards for selecting the best taxi franchise company and the best drivers.

The judges panel comprises representatives from the General Directorate of Traffic in Dubai Police, a Dubai-based media representative, representative of the local community (public figure), representatives of Public Transport Agency as well as Development and Corporate Excellence Department, and Customers Service Department.