BY MATOVU A. TWAHA
THE Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has from April 1, also increased the tax flag fall for Sharjah bound taxis to Dhs20, a move started by Sharjah in December 2008.
Both the RTA and Sharjah Transport Corporation (STC) reason that the increase is the only way to address "a lot of complaints" lodged against their drivers for refusing to take people to either emirate.
"Yes, we started on April, but we shall disclose more information about this in the next two days," said an official from the RTA's Corporate Strategy and Marketing Department.
All the developments in Sharjah indicate that the intention was well addressed, but at a cost of drivers who now roam around the city with fewer passengers.
Many Sharjah taxis can hardly hesitate to take passengers to Dubai, "because they automatically get Dhs7 as they set off," said Sharjah Taxi Manager, Jassim Mohammed Haider.
Jassim added that they have fewer complaints over this, and that they also notice a great reduction of taxis going to Dubai. "You can easily see this from Salik reading. "
He said that passengers have shifted to public buses, "and we're proud of this."
The immediate beneficiaries are the RTA and STC bodies because of the public's shift to buses. The immediate losers are the drivers who, while the number of fleets is yet to increase significantly, the taxis appear to be more available than the passengers.
Dubai has around 8,000 taxis while Sharjah has between 4,160 and 4,200.
However, Jassim downplayed the issue of drivers bearing the heat saying that inter-city buses have only minimally affected the taxi operation.
"A lot of passengers want to reach their destinations as quick as they could, but it is a great advantage that the buses are available."