Dubai Taxi asks drivers ‘to stay clean’
Lack of basic hygiene a common complaint among taxi users in Dubai.
August 18, 2013 12:28 by Muhammad Aldalou
As part of its operational plans for the year, the Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC) at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is calling on all of its taxi drivers to maintain their personal hygiene throughout the working day.
As part of an agreement signed with Unilever Middle East, a six-month package of personal care tools will be given to drivers that include deodorant, facial lotion, mouth care products and skin cream. According to the DTC, this move is in line with its “endeavor to raise the level of satisfaction of customers and drivers alike”.
According to the corporation’s acting chief executive officer, Ahmad Mohammad Al Hammadi, the campaign intends to achieve DTC’s 2013 target objective – along with promoting community awareness about personal cleanliness – that includes a customer satisfaction rating of 82 per cent and drivers’ satisfaction of 80 per cent.
Hammadi adds that the company will soon organise awareness promotion lectures and sessions – three 20-minute lectures a day for a month – on how to maintain personal hygiene. He also confirmed the corporation’s eagerness to “pay attention to drivers’ qualifications and to fully prepare them before they start driving vehicles”.
According to Hammadi, the preparation is not limited to safe driving and abidance by traffic rules, but to the vehicles’ cleanliness and for drivers to be honest and sincere in their daily encounters with passengers.
What irks customers the most?
Over the past few years, the RTA has held regular ‘customer council’ meetings to encourage an open face-to-face dialogue between customers and authority officials.
Members of the public are normally invited to voice concerns (or compliments) and the RTA also uses the platform to make important announcements.
Back in 2011, the authority said that the most common complaint it had about taxi drivers in Dubai had been regarding their “reckless and negligent driving”. In 2010, the Dubai Taxi Corporation received 12,768 complaints of bad driving.
The other complaints that followed included refusal to pick up customers at particular times of the day, abusive language and lack of basic hygiene.
Two years later, during the RTA’s 41st session in June 2013 – devoted almost entirely to discuss Dubai Taxi services – the same concerns were raised by several customers. Suggestions were made to unify quality standards and improve the performance of drivers by providing them with adequate behavioral and skills training.