There has been an 86 per cent drop in the number of complaints against taxi drivers in Dubai from 2016 to 2018, a top official has revealed.

Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), said: "This drop reflects the scale of efforts made by taxi operators in Dubai towards educating drivers about the applicable laws and the cleanliness of vehicles. It is important to continue improving the level of services offered to taxi riders, including the use of smart and modern means to address their needs, particularly as the leadership is working on transforming Dubai into a smart city that brings happiness to residents and visitors."

Al Tayer made these remarks during a meeting with heads and representatives of taxi franchise companies in Dubai: Cars Taxi, National Taxi, Metro Taxi, Arabia Taxi and the Dubai Taxi Corporation.

"We have to continue improving the taxi service as it is vital for the daily mobility of people. Last year, taxis lifted about 175 million riders in Dubai," said Al Tayer.

The RTA recently endorsed a "package of initiatives" to increase drivers' satisfaction and raise the appeal of the taxis sector to "talented drivers", Al Tayer said. "The RTA has upgraded the training and qualification programmes and opened a smart centre for training drivers of taxis and on-demand limousines.

"The taxi sector in Dubai is experiencing a quantum shift with the operation of the e-hail taxi company in conjunction with Careem. The company is expected to stimulate the taxi sector and improve efficiency by improving the accessibility of taxis, booking them online and reducing the expected time of arrival of the taxi."

Fines against careless cabbies to be doubled

Doubling fines on errant drivers is among the strict controls planned by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to improve the taxi sector in Dubai. "Controls include doubling fines on offending drivers, especially as regards careless driving and misconduct," Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), said.

"There are multiple improvement prospects for the taxi service in Dubai, highlighted by running awareness, training and qualification programmes, and setting strict controls for selecting drivers and implementing them gradually to avoid disrupting the required recruitment rates."

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