By Ahmed Shaaban www.khaleejtimes.com
Come September, Sharjah Taxi meters will be recalibrated to tick faster and cabbies can charge a minimum fare of Dh10 per trip, according to a senior official.
Director General of Sharjah Transport Abdullah Al Zari said the new minimum fare was in response to the franchise companies’ request to compensate part of the loss they incurred due to the latest hike in fuel prices and rising operation costs.
“Following a thorough study, the Sharjah Transport took the decision to hike fares in the interest of the public to help franchise companies operating in the emirate provide better services.”
As per the new tariff, Sharjah taxi passengers will shell out Dh10 per trip even if it is metered less, as is the case with Dubai taxis.
“Also, commuters will have to pay Dh1 for every 620 metres as against 650 metres previously,” Al Zari said.
Meters on all the 4,510 cabs running on the emirate’s roads were first recalibrated to count faster in February this year — from 800 to 650 metres.
“The base fare, however, remains unchanged at Dh3.50 for day trips and Dh4 at night,” Al Zari noted.
Commuters are shocked at the proposed hike and said the move would add to their financial burdens. “Suffering a hike in February, and now another one in September, and charging extra Dh20 per trip from Sharjah to Dubai, how are we supposed to pay all this?” asked Ahmed Burei, an Egyptian.
Johnson Varghese, an Indian, said he was barely surviving under the ‘hammer’ of the financial crunch.
“This is very unexpected, we have not yet recovered from the last hike, how can they take such a decision?” asked Abdul Raof Ahmed, a Pakistani.
Taxi drivers have their take as well. “We are also suffering, as more people opt for car pooling while others go for public buses; how can we achieve our daily targets?” asked a taxi driver, who did not wish to be named.
“Short trips waste our time and effort and badly affect our daily targets,” said another taxi driver.