Commuters on the streets can now hail taxis by SMS
By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter
Dubai: Passengers in Dubai no longer have to go through the daunting task of hailing a taxi on the road as they can now call one by just sending an SMS from their mobile phones, said a senior official.
The service has been designed for passengers who want to order taxis while waiting by the road, said Abdul Aziz Malek, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dubai Taxi Agency at the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
He said the taxi agency is installing small boards with location code numbers and a taxi sign on them by the side of the road. A passenger can send an SMS to 4774, mentioning the area code on the taxi board.
The customer will have to wait in the same location until the taxi arrives. Once the commuter sends the SMS, it will reach the booking terminal of Dubai Taxi Agency and the booking supervisor will send the nearest taxi to the customer.
The booking terminal will also send the taxi reservation number to the customer, which he needs to show to the taxi driver before boarding.
The starting fare for taxis booked via SMS will be Dh6 during the day (from 6am to 10pm) and Dh7 at night (from 10pm to 6am).
In addition to the new service, Dubai Taxi Agency will continue to offer reservations via telephone and the internet.
"The new service has been launched after complaints from commuters about hailing a cab while waiting by the roadside," said Malek.
Currently, Dubai has around 6,500, taxis including 3,200 run by Dubai Taxi Agency.
Saturday, April 19, 2008