The Public Transport Agency, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), has recently launched ‘Saher’ campaign to combat the illegal transportation of passengers in the Emirate of Dubai, in collaboration with the General HQ of the Dubai Police as part of endeavours to eradicate this outlawed activity which has mushroomed into a phenomenon that warrants concerted efforts to curb its negative impact on both the RTA and the community.
Abdullah Al Mahra, Director of Franchising and Enforcement, RTA Public Transport Agency, said: “The illegal picking up of riders is practiced in certain spots which are well known to those who practice this activity as well as riders. Randomly does it take place on street side, but the pickup points keep changing to avoid being ambushed. In fact it is difficult to quantify the exact magnitude of this phenomenon as it involves several types of vehicles such as private vehicles, rented cars, commercial transport vehicles and private company vehicles.”
“While this practice is general receding under the intensive enforcement and hefty fines in place, new comers are engaged in this activity, while some frequent violators do come again following a short spell. Some of these are ex taxi-drivers who, after the taxi business has been regularized in other emirates, had to convert their cabs into private vehicles and opted to implicate them into such unlicensed passenger transport activities in Dubai,” explained Al Mahra.
As for the losses inflicted by this phenomenon on the taxi sector in Dubai, Al Mahra said: “This practices has negative financial repercussions on this vital sector in Dubai; which is considered one of the key tourist cities in the region. It distorts the profile of the RTA as a service-providing entity that seeks to deliver best-in-class services through creative techniques aligned with the world’s top practices and solutions of the industry.”
“This activity, he continues, is an uncivilized phenomenon in sharp contrast with the status and repute of Dubai as a regional business and economic hub, besides that it unravels RTA’s efforts & keenness to broaden and upgrade the transportation sector, let alone the substantial damage inflicted by this activity on the service, tourist, and social sectors among other key sectors,” he added.