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Oman to introduce metered taxis

Image used for illustrative purpose.
A lit taxi sign in seen in London August 23, 2006.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A lit taxi sign in seen in London August 23, 2006.

Reuters/Luke MacGregor

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2017

Muscat: Oman will launch metered taxi service soon for the first time after the Ministry of Transport and Communications issued licenses to two taxi operators.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications issued licences to Mwasalat, Oman’s National Transport Company, and Ibtikar Technology Company, according to Salim Al Naimi, the Undersecretary for Transport in the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

“Ibtikar Company will operate in 3,4,5 star hotels as well as on-call taxi services, while Mwasalat will operate at Muscat International Airport, commercial centers and on-call taxi service in the capital Muscat,” said Al Naimi.

The metered taxi service will be introduced in the first quarter of this year.

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Mawasalt unveiled its new taxi service on Monday under the patronage of Ahmad Al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications.

“Mwasalat is planning to have at least 400 taxis by the first half of this year, 200 of them will operate at Muscat International Airport,” according to Ahmad Al Beloushi, CEO, Mwasalat.

He added that the Ministry of Transport and Communications will announce tariff for the metered taxis after signing contracts with taxi drivers.

“I think it’s a good move especially for us as who do not have cars here,” said Ahmad Lutfi, an Egyptian resident in Oman. Lutfi added that he used to wait for more than 20 minutes for a taxi in the neighbourhood where he stays in the capital Muscat. “On-call taxi service will make my life easier when it will be launched,”, said Ahmad.

Another resident, Mohamad Islam, a Bangladeshi resident, said that private taxi drivers raise their prices up by more than 20 per cent after the recent fuel prices hike, which makes it difficult for him to commute to work.

“I hope the new metered taxi will introduce fair prices for the service as I earn salary not exceeding 100 riyals (Dh954),” said Islam.

By Fahad Al Mukrashi Correspondent

Gulf News 2017. All rights reserved.

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