Roads & Transport Authority – Nashwan Al Taee
The taxi service sector is shaping as a key component of transport sector in the emirate of Dubai judging by the improved service levels, and the rising number of fleet which reached (7941) taxis thanks to the growing number of its riders, taking into consideration that (300) vehicles are currently in process to operate.
The existing fleet of taxicabs operating in the emirate belongs to (6) major franchised companies, namely Dubai Taxi Corporation subsidized by RTA, National Taxi, Cars Taxi, Metro Taxi, Arabian Taxi and City Taxi; the latter providing taxi sharing service. As Public Transport is seeking to provide the best level of service, it is monitoring the performance of franchised companies on monthly basis and a regular report is compiled by Franchise and Monitoring Dep’t at the Agency according the world’s best criteria in this domain.
The Dubai Taxi Corporation has the highest fleet of taxicabs in the emirate with 3503 vehicles in service which is equivalent to 46% of all taxi fleet in the emirate, next comes National Taxi with 1424 vehicles (19%), followed by Cars Taxi which has 1154 vehicles (15%), Metro Taxi which as 754 vehicles (10%), Arabian Taxi which operates 771 vehicles (10%) and City Taxi operating (35) vehicles (0.5%) of the whole fleet.
While the total number of the trips executed by the all the franchised companies is (34,233,983) in the first half of 2009 i.e. (5,705,664) trips a month, registering a rise of (17%) compared to the same period of 2008.
The taxis managed based on three basic indicators namely the number of accidents per 100 thousand trips, number of complaints per 100 thousand trips and the operating efficiency. The accidents-related details are obtained from the franchised companies, Customer Relations Management (CRM) of RTA‘s Customer Service Centers Department and Dispatch Center of the Transport Information Department at the Public Transport Agency. It is important to know that the accidents committed by the drivers only are counted by the aforesaid parties.
Thus, all the franchised companies are objectively run through the criteria above irrespective of the size of the fleet of each company according to best global practices.
As for the indicator of accidents’ number per 100 thousand trips, the indicator registered (0.7) accidents per 100 thousand trips in the first half of 2008 and this indicator has marked an improvement registering (0.3) accidents per 100 thousand trips in the first half of 2009. This means a clear improvement in this important aspect of performance relating to the safety of passengers, road users, drivers and properties as well. This was achieved thanks to the continued drivers’ awareness and improves the level of their daily performance through the compliance with the traffic rules in line with RTA‘s vision of Safe and Smooth Transport for all.
Mr. Essa Abdul Rahman Al Dossari, CEO of RTA‘s Public Transport Agency said that the operating efficiency of the sector for the first half of this year amounted to (85%). Measuring the operational efficiency is scaled during the peak hours due to the need of the public for the service at these times. The peak hours extend from eight in the morning until ten in the morning and six in evening until nine in the evening.
The Dubai Taxi Corporation recorded the highest operating efficiency during the peak hours in the first of the year by (86%) equally to that of National Taxi 86%). Then, come Metro Taxi and Cars Taxi by (85%), while the Arabian Taxi registered the lowest operating efficiency during the peak hours (81%).
The report also explained the rate of complaints on all franchised companies according to performance indicator was (46) complaints 100 thousand trips in the first half of 2009.
The biannual report on the performance level of franchise companies operating in the emirate revealed that Arabian Taxi topped the list of companies in terms of the averaged number of complaints made with (58) complaints per 100 thousand trips followed by Dubai Taxi Corporation averaging (55) complaints per 100 thousand trips. The National Taxi is lowest in terms of averaged number complaints by (42) complaints per 100 thousand trips followed by Cars Taxi (49) complaints per 100 thousand trips and Metro Taxi by(53) per 100 thousand trips in the first six months of this year.
“January witnessed the highest number of violations which reached (1417) offences while May had the lowest number with (399) violations reported. Most of the violations represent by refusing to pick up passengers, failure to abide by the official uniform or the general appearance and obstructing traffic flow,” explained Al Dossari.
The report goes even further to shed light on unlicensed taxis phenomenon, which is negatively affecting Dubai’s tourist cultural reputation. Its is an illegal practice.
The report registered that a number of unlicensed taxi cases during the first six months of this year. Vehicles registered in Dubai topped the list as they were responsible for (74%) of the cases, followed by vehicles registered in Abu Dhabi by (14%), Sharjah by (7%) and other emirates by (5%). March was the month with the highest number of cases reported by (245) cases.
The report indicated that the Franchising and Monitoring Department had launched a number inspection campaigns inn the month of May of this year to combat the phenomenon of unlicensed taxis in cooperation with Dubai Police and the Tourist Security. Those campaigns resulted in the seizure of two violations only, which clearly shows this phenomenon declining compared to the same period last year.
It also pointed out that the Franchising and Monitoring Department had launched a number of campaigns on the taxis, including the airport taxis, anti-reckless driving campaign, the campaign of checking on the compliance with safety and security requirements and the campaign on the taxi stands violations.
In closing remark, Al Dossari said: “The overall performance of the taxi sector in the Emirate of Dubai had evolved significantly on all fronts, thanks to the decisive steps taken by RTA including the exempt of all taxis in the Emirate of Dubai from Salik fees, Sharjah’s addition of (AED20) , the addition of the same amount to the trips starting from Port Rashid, the elimination of the free waiting period of the first(10) minutes and the application of the minimum fare within the Emirate of Dubai and of (AED10), in addition to launching awareness campaigns, inspection and workshops for drivers, and press releases and adverts featured in all media He outlets.” confirmed that RTA is constantly working on the launch of several strategic initiatives and implementation of plans to expand and develop the taxi transport sector and elevate it to the highest international standards.