By Rayeesa Absal, Staff Reporter www.gulfnews.com
Dubai: Over the years, those operating illegal taxis have changed their ways constantly to evade the authorities — from pursuing prospective customers randomly to dressing up smartly as chauffeurs at airports. Regardless of the option they choose, the authorities warned that they are unlikely to get away with it. A fresh campaign has been launched to crack down on illegal taxis in the city.
The Road and Transport Authority (RTA) said the battle against illegal taxis is a relentless one.
In an exclusive interview, Furat Ali Al Amri, Director of Franchise and Monitoring at the (RTA), told Gulf News the significance of the campaign and the reasons behind it.
Apart from eating into the income of legally run taxis, he said illegal taxis pose a serious security threat to commuters.
“Those hiring illegal taxis to save little money are inadvertently putting themselves at risk,” he warns.
Illegal taxi drivers dress up as chauffeurs, act as concierge or try out other get ups even, but they are unlikely to be missed by the trained eyes of RTA’s inspectors, Al Amri said.
The department has 36 inspectors in vehicles section and 55 in buses section who are always on the lookout for illegal taxi operators.. “These inspectors operate undercover and follow those suspected to be involved, before intervening,” Al Amri said.
He said the illegal practice also affects the image of the city. “We receive so many tourists; they may mistake the poor service of the illegal cabs as the norm here, for instance,” he said. More info