Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Taxis seized for running illegal inter-emirate service :: Gulf News

People are often surprised that there are UAE nationals who drive taxis.

Several of the emirates have created monopolies for national drivers. For example, the only taxis that can pick up from Sharjah Airport are national drivers. The government sets a flat fare for these drivers. The drivers cannot hire someone in their place.

Today's Gulf News has another example:
Ras Al Khaimah: Police patrols have seized three city taxis for illegally offering passengers trips to other emirates. The seized taxis will be impounded for a week and fines will be imposed on the drivers, a senior police officer at the Ras Al Khaimah Traffic and Licensing Department said yesterday.

He said the taxis were caught on Al Jazera Al Hamara Highway while taking passengers to Dubai during iftar. The drivers were trying to exploit fewer police patrols on the road during that time, he said. The officer said only national drivers from the emirate's Taxi Stand were authorised to take passengers to other emirates.

Taxi drivers from the stand have been complaining against the city taxis and several private cars running illegal services to Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain for cheaper rates. The Ras Al Khaimah municipality has fixed the fare at Dh20 per passenger at the Taxi Stand. The officer said passengers are attracted to the illegal city taxis and private cars that offer cheaper fares for the same trips.



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