Dubai: It turned out to be a hectic first day on Dubai roads for the "pink women-only taxis" that rolled out a fleet of 50 vehicles on Tuesday.
"I have done about six trips since morning and it is only 11.45am. This means there is a lot of demand. Those who hired the taxi included two families and the remaining were single women. I dropped off many passengers to various malls in Dubai," said a female taxi driver who did not want to be named.
The taxis will be visible in front of hospitals and malls and other places which are usually frequented by women.
Female passengers who hired the new taxis said that they had mixed reactions. For some it did not make any difference while for others it was a "secure feeling".
The drivers of the pink-roofed taxis agreed to talk to Gulf News only if their names were not mentioned.
"It is our first day on roads and we do not know whether it is appropriate for us to talk to the media," said another female taxi driver. She said had done four trips since morning and they had left her a little tired.
"It is only our first day. We will get used to it and get on with our jobs. I have not done so much driving before in a single day," she said.
The story of RTA's plans to introduce pink-roofed taxis for women only was first published by Gulf News in August. The aim of initiating the taxis is to provide a secure mode of transport for women. The fleet is driven by 100 female drivers who have undergone training on how to deal with female passengers and children.
The drivers said that there have been instances when a passenger started an argument "but we make sure that things are discussed and then they finally calm down. We have been trained to handle such situations," said a driver.
The drivers however said that they would be glad if put in service at the airport. "We are ensured that we will get passengers and there is no need to roam around looking for passengers," said a female taxi driver.
Shadiah and her four children had hired a pink taxi from BurJuman and according to her she felt quite at ease knowing that the driver is a female. She said: "The female drivers are not rude and most importantly they adhere to road discipline. Safety is ensured."
Great news! I used to live out there and it is comforting to know that there are taxis available for women only. That way women would be able to gain a sense of security along with the ability to put their trust into the female driver's ability. Male drivers tend to be very inquisitive when they carry women passengers, the passengers may thus feel a sense of insecurity, but with the "pink women-only taxis" families, couples and women will feel a greater sense of security, and relief.
Introducing a women's only taxi is the best thing that could happen!!! The women of Dubai have the right to feel safe when travelling in a taxi on their own -especially with over 75% of the Dubai population being male. I am sure I would not want my wife travelling in a taxi on her own with a male driver!!!
It is really a fantastic idea to have these pink taxis because it encourages women to come out and work and earn for their living, whilst feeling secure at the same time.
I think it?s great to push women to front lines with men that they are able to work as can men. I just simply loved it. Long live Dubai.
I think it is very good for us if female taxis come on the roads. Thanks.
If pink taxis are for women only, what happens if you are a couple and want to take a taxi to a mall. Can we take this pink one or we can ride only the old taxis?
The introduction of pink taxis for women and children is a smart move. It will make women travellers more confident of going about on their own.
Having pink taxis would definitely benefit women. That way none of us women would ever have to endure the subtle harassment of male taxi drivers (they always ask you where you work, if you're married, if you can be their friend etc. This is common if the passenger is an expat woman).
Great idea. Women drivers are good. They are not rude while talking to the passengers and I feel comfortable.
I think it?s the best idea to get a female driver. It?s very safe for family and females especially. But the best part will be when this service will be introduced in other emirates also. I have heard that male drivers ask women many questions which he should not ask.
It's a good idea to have female taxi drivers for women.
A very bad idea. I would hope that the UAE should looking forward, but this unbelievable idea will push the country back 500 years. I can't believe that this one can be possible in a civilised country. Taxis should be for everyone, not for ladies or gents only.