Dubai Police cautioned passengers to check their belongings before leaving the taxi. Picture for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Commuters can now rate Dubai’s 25,000 taxi drivers and the top-rated ones will be rewarded through points earned that could be used in various ways, including offsetting fines they’ve incurred.

The Public Transport Agency of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) on Thursday announced the launch of ‘Kafou’ (Arabic for ‘well done’) programme, to recognise distinguished taxi drivers in Dubai. The step, which covers all franchise taxi companies operating in the emirate, is a step forward to bringing happiness to excellent-performing drivers as per the standards set by RTA.

“RTA is keen on rewarding employees of all affiliated agencies and sectors according to sound international standards. RTA has opted to launch ‘Kafou’ programme for excellent taxi drivers acting as ambassadors of RTA to the public,” said Adel Shakri, Director of Planning and Business Development at RTA’s Public Transport Agency.

“The programme grants ‘Kafou’ points to taxi drivers based on a rating by riders and RTA inspectors under a QR Happiness Index. Deserving drivers will earn points through these assessment tools, depending on their excellent performance.”

About 25,000 taxi drivers in Dubai are entitled to benefit from the programme, which creates a competitive environment prompting taxi drivers to excel.

“This programme is the first of its kind worldwide in utilising the points earned by felicitated drivers. Through the rewards process approved for this programme, it will be possible to offset the fines incurred by drivers for offences made, and wipe out the associated Black Points as well,” revealed Shakri.

“The objective of this programme is to motivate taxi drivers to deliver superb services to passengers, besides creating a positive impact on celebrated drivers and stimulating them to deliver better services to customers. It rewards excellent-performing drivers and elevates the overall satisfaction rating with the taxi service in Dubai,” he added.

The RTA launched the programme following a series of benchmarks with advanced global cities namely Durban in South Africa, Singapore, London, Hong Kong, and Houston in US. The reward programmes of taxi drivers in these cities range from rewards programmes, assessment systems, thanks, and feedback to profit sharing.