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The price of safety: pay more to have safer taxis

The price of safety: pay more to have safer taxis

Utmost safety while commuting should be available for everyone…everyone willing to pay from 25AED, that is. The Kipp community discusses the finer points of Dubai Taxi's new initiative.

October 18, 2011 4:27 by



Want to make sure you’re in one of the safest taxis in town? You can with Dubai Taxi’s latest initiative called In-Safe-Hands. What’s the difference, you may ask. Well, the rate starts from 25AED and runs at 1.71AED a kilometre—a premium when compared to the starting rate of 3AED for regular cabs (20AED if you’re coming out of the airport or going into Sharjah).

What exactly are you paying for, you may ask next. You’re paying for the privilege of being driven by female or male driver Dubai taxi driver who has had no customer complaints or taxi offences.

Now while on the surface the intentions may be good, offering ‘safer’ cabs in the hopes of creating a new revenue stream for the company (which one would imagine is experiencing losses from the opening of the Green Line of the Dubai Metro), it is a little difficult not to think that by offering a ‘safer’ service that the company is inadvertently saying the rest of their taxi fleet is not as safe.

Why can’t all the taxi fleets have stricter regulations for safety? Regardless of the fee, why can’t all taxis just be safer? Most of us, who’ve had our fair share of cab stories, will share this sentiment, we’re sure.

Of course, we’re pretty sure the RTA and Dubai Taxi Corporation have put together at least an effective focus group that showed this was a good idea.

HERE’S WHAT YOU HAD TO SAY
So will are you willing to pay for the ‘safer’ alternative? We asked our Facebook and Twitter followers today and here’s what a few of you said:

Annabel Kantaria says that while she is willing to pay a premium for safer cabs, drivers without any traffic offences or customer complaints are “not good enough to charge a premium.”

Kantaria echoes our sentiment about what the initiative says of the rest of the fleet. She leaves this comment on Facebook: “They’re effectively telling you some of their drivers are dangerous! If you were hurt in a crash, would they claim in court that you knew you were taking a risk because you didn’t pay for a ‘better’ driver? Better that they train all their drivers to a high standard.”

Another Kipp Facebook follower, Kate Mullen, adds: “Judging by the squealing brakes on some of their cars, the concept of safety is completely lost on them – it’s not just the drivers that are dangerous, but the maintenance of their vehicles that leaves a lot to be desired. Asking people to pay extra to drive with those that have safer records is subjective – they might just be really lucky, or know where all the speed cameras are!!!!.

Over on Twitter, @Alex_Malouf suggests that the company’s turn its attention to just improving current services rather than creating new ones. This included more drivers being more well acquainted with roads and places around town and that he’d “pay for a nice smelling taxi, full of potpourri.”



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2 Comments

  1. chaz on October 19, 2011 4:48 am

    I honestly thought this was a joke article.
    Dubai Taxis is admitting that many of its staff do not meet the mark, so you pay less for them and a premium for others?
    Now transpose that into other walks of life.
    You get the meal you paid for: well made or maybe not cooked well enough. OK so you get ill but you made that choice.
    Some govt firms are just so good at shooting themselves in their own feet. Why is nobody auditing their PR?

     
  2. Mick on October 19, 2011 2:59 pm

    I wonder if airlines would ever adopt the same campaign. Fly with a pilot that has a flawless record for a much higher premium fare or take your chances with negligent pilots that are sub-par.
    More people are killed by negligent driving than any other form of transportation. This RTA initiative is setting a very bad precedent. Quite a farce, really. By adopting a new initiative like this is actually hurting their (obvious) taxi service in the most direct way. Open admission of poor service. I complained two weeks ago (after having had enough) about a driver that let out a violent groan when I needed to travel an unwalkable route with no sidewalks that was only about 4 kilometres in the heat. He let out is groan (and that annoying angry vocal snap and proceeded to drive like a maniac screeching around corners and doing almost 90 in a 60 zone. They are out of control and how often are the cab interiors refurbished? They are like sitting on a smelly stained hard bench after thousands of passengers’ butts.

     

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