Complaints about Dubai taxis fall by 70 percent
The number of complaints made about taxis in Dubai has reduced by 70 percent according to Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
Adel Shakri, director of transportation systems at the RTA said the main reason for this reduction is the introduction of Hala taxi, which is a taxi fleet that responds only to bookings made through a dispatch centre.
"This service gives people more security about their taxi booking," he explained to Emirates 24/7. "Previously, it was reported that taxis could take a very long time to find the customer, or not show up at all. The Hala Taxi is dedicated to the booking and cannot pick up passengers on the way."
Ahmed Mahboob, director of customer service at the RTA said the smart light on the roof of taxis informing potential customers whether the taxi is booked, available, occupied or out of service has also reduced complaints.
"Previously it was not possible for customers to see the status of a taxi. Although a taxi might be on its way to a customer, a person on the street might feel that the taxi passed him without a reason," he commented.
"We received many complaints about taxis not stopping when flagged down. With the smart light it is visible whether the taxi is free."
Another initiative rolled out to improve the emirate's taxi service is an app that allows customers to book a taxi using a smartphone by sending a message or shaking the phone. The nearest taxi driver receives the request and the details of the customer's whereabouts, enabled by GPS.
Once the driver accepts the request, the customer receives a message with a picture and location of the taxi driver as well as the estimated pick up time.
Since the launch of the app on June 17 this year, 42,000 people have downloaded the app and 12,000 have used the service.