x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Step seamlessly from Metro to taxi via text

Passengers can now call a taxi by sending a text message from any of the Dubai's 47 Metro stations.

DUBAI // Passengers can now call a taxi by sending a text message from any of the city's 47 Metro stations.

Transport chiefs announced the launch of the new text ordering line, 4774, yesterday.

The user will send a text with either R for the Red Line of G for the Green Line, followed by the station number and the gate they are waiting at.

For example, sending G12A to 4774 will dispatch a taxi to Gate A of the Green Line's Al Quasis Station.

"The applicant must leave no space between numbers and codes," said Essa Abdul Rahman Al Dossary, chief executive of the Public Transport Agency at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

At present, the service is only available to Etisalat phone subscribers. The RTA said it did not know when the service would be extended to du users.

The announcement received a muted response from most passengers, who said they had not faced much difficulty finding taxis outside the stations.

"Usually there are a lot of taxis at my station, Ibn Battuta Mall," said Steve Fernandez, 26, from Philippines. "When there are no taxis, that means they are all busy and probably won't come for a long time to the rank anyway. Even if you call one you're not guaranteed a taxi will come," the sales manager said.

"Maybe if you know it will be busy for taxis, you could text ahead and it will be waiting for you by the time you get to the station. I'd use it then."

Mr Fernandez uses the Metro to get to Media City every day. He usually takes the bus from his apartment in Discovery Gardens to the Ibn Battuta Metro station.

"Sometimes the bus is so full, it is really uncomfortable," he said. "A taxi is always the best option but I can't afford it all the time."