By Ahmed Shaaban www.khaleejtimes.com
With 255 cab bookings in 21 days, the new dispatch system of Sharjah Transport has seen a positive response from the public.
The automatic booking service available round the clock at 600545455 since January 16 is part of Sharjah Transport’s efforts to evolve its systems and provide a more convenient and attractive shuttle service.
Passengers across the city may avail the service which is connected to the General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) against Dh5. Manager of the Dh30 million project, Mohammed Abdullah told Khaleej Times that 157 requests, which represent 61.5 per cent of the 255 calls received, were successfully attended to. “The remaining 98 calls were just enquiries about the new service.”
“We are currently attending to nearly 20 requests per day, and more requests are expected within the coming days, as more people now know about the service,” he added.
The centre, however, receives more calls during weekends, particularly between Thursdays and Saturdays. “Families opt to book a taxi using the new dispatch system to go shopping or exchange visits as they are busy most of the week,” said Abdullah.
Once a passenger calls the centre, the dispatch system saves his number so that he does not need to give the details of his location unless he/she is going somewhere else. Then they have to press 2.
“They shall then be connected to a customer service staffer to book a new destination. This is a good option which saves time and effort, particularly for regular commuters,” Abdullah added.
The new automatic booking gadgets — known as Internal Vehicle Devices, are now fitted in 1,125 cabs, spanning the 457-vehicle fleet of Sharjah Taxi and 668 cabs from the Emirates and City franchisees. “It shall later be fixed in the remaining 3,735 taxis of all franchisees operating here, including Advantage and Union companies, by August 1.”
“The nearly 30 to 40 minute regular wait for a taxi will significantly drop to an average time of 10 to 15 minutes, and that will save time and effort, let alone environmental and traffic benefits,” he said.
Abdullah said the process of training drivers on the new system is underway. “The project will be thoroughly implemented by August this year.”