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Some taxi drivers are complaining about difficulties in finding passengers lately. Have you stopped using cabs?
The results are in.
May 31, 2009 11:26 by Aarti Nagraj
Dubai’s residents used to complain about finding taxis a year ago. But the reality has changed drastically recently; an empty taxi has now become a common sight on the city’s roads. And this is obviously not making cab drivers happy.
“Business has become very difficult,” a driver told Kipp recently. He doesn’t think there’s been a drop in the emirate’s population, but that residents are not using cabs. “They prefer to take the bus even if it takes longer instead of spending AED20 or AED30 on a taxi,” he said.
While only 3 percent of our poll respondents said that they are taking the bus more often, the maximum, 55 percent, said that they have stopped using taxis because they are too expensive.
Although the financial crisis is the main reason for people spending less, the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has introduced some new regulations recently, including a minimum charge of AED10 within the emirate, and a minimum fare of AED20 for travel to Sharjah and the northern emirates. The RTA has also removed the 10 minute grace period before charging customers a waiting fee of 50 fils per minute.
But all this has not deterred 16 percent of our respondents, who still use taxis to travel. Another 14 percent say they never use cabs.
While the effect of the financial crisis may wear down by the end of the year, taxis may still not be able to breathe a sigh of relief; from September 2009, they will be facing competition from the Dubai Metro, which will be cheaper and faster.
And of course, they may never be able to attract the 12 percent of our respondents who hate taxi drivers.