x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Start meters or risk losing your job, Sharjah taxi drivers warned

Sharjah commuters complain to Sharjah Transport Corporation that cabbies are charging customers more by not turning on their meters.

SHARJAH // Taxi drivers who do not switch on their meters have been warned they face a Dh1,000 fine, 10 black points on their licences and could even lose their jobs.

Customers have complained to the Sharjah Transport Corporation (STC) about cabbies who are charging customers more after leaving the car’s meter off.

“Some drivers were not bothering to switch on the meter when the taxi started and when a passenger was leaving they would charge more than what the meter would have charged,” said Luqman Muayyad, who lives in Al Nabba.

“I have had quarrels with these drivers on two occasions, and even when they claim they forgot to switch on the meter I don’t believe them as it’s happening so often.”

Another passenger, who did not wish to be identified, said his driver turned off the meter halfway through a trip from Al Majjaz to Buteena, claiming it was broken.

“He demanded more than what the meter was reading when he stopped it and said it was faulty, but tried to estimate what the journey would cost.”

Faisal Mahmoud, head of quality control services at STC, said stopping a meter and negotiating taxi fares was banned, and a driver caught doing it would be fined Dh1,000 and given 10 black points on their licence.

Drivers who charge a fare different from that displayed on the meter will be fined Dh500 and receive five black points.

A driver who accumulates 24 black points in a single year will be fired.

“The corporation has listed the different types of violations in Arabic, English and Urdu and given a copy to each driver,” Mr Mahmoud said.

He urged all passengers who see drivers not using meters or who are charged a fare different to what is displayed to call the corporation’s customer service number on 600525252.

The STC replaced its fleet of older cars with metered taxis in 2004.

ykakande@thenational.ae