DOHA: Complaints from passengers against taxi drivers are once again in the spotlight.
Many passengers have complained that taxi drivers bargain and try to convince customers to take a ride without switching on the fare meter, especially from busy places.
At places like shopping malls and hospitals, where there are a lot of passengers waiting for taxis, the drivers try to take advantage of the situation, Arabic daily Al Raya reported yesterday.
Drivers’ lack of knowledge about routes also continues to be a problem.
Some taxis drivers refuse to take customers if the trip is a short one or the route has heavy traffic, or they refuse to go by the meter and haggle over the price instead.
A Qatari football player said on Twitter that more taxis should be assigned to busy places because most drivers try to exploit customers they pick from such spots.
Others have said that during a trip with a passenger, some taxi drivers solicit customers on the way and pick them up if they are going the same way. They then get money from each passenger.
Some other taxi drivers wait until many people going to the same place have gathered and then try to convince them to pay a fixed fare and not go by the meter.
Passengers also have urged officials to take strict action against taxi drivers who violate rules and try to exploit passengers.
“If strict action is taken against drivers they will fear to make mistakes. Since the action against them is weak, drivers continue to exploit customers,” said a passenger.
Another passenger said, “There are many visitors and tourists coming to the country and they depend on taxi services. Misbehaviour by taxi drivers will give a wrong impression about the country.”
Amid complaints of a shortage of taxis, Mowasalat has increased the number of cars in the Karwa fleet and the fleets of its franchisees, Al Million and Al Ijarah. In all, the three operators run around 3,000 taxis.