Ajman taxis to charge Dh10 minimum fare
Taxi operators in Ajman are planning to increase the minimum fare in the northern emirate to match Sharjah and Dubai.
An official source in Cars Taxi said the minimum fare in Ajman will be Dh10, the same as in Dubai and Sharjah, from May 1.
Many drivers fear the fare hike will force many cost conscious people to cover small distances by walking or by public transport.
There are more than 2,000 private taxis in Ajman.
“With this new rate, many ordinary people may skip taking taxis because Dh10 may be too much for them,” said a taxi driver.
Earlier, the Ajman Transport Company had introduced a shared taxi service for low income earners. The minimum fare in the sharing taxis was Dh2 per trip within Ajman and Dh5 to Sharjah or Umm Al Quwain.
Due to poor business, two taxi operators had earlier closed down in Ajman. The new move to raise the minimum taxi fare will improve their bottom lines but taxi drivers fear that the move will chase away many cost conscious customers from taking taxis. They will instead use the public transport system or sharing taxis which are much cheaper than the metered taxis.
Ajman and Sharjah had hundreds of cabs run by Asian expatriates, which were later replaced by private taxi companies.
From September 1, 2010, the minimum taxi fare in Sharjah was increased to Dh10.
Unlike Dubai where commuters can take the metro, there is no such option in Ajman.
Dubai introduced minimum fare of Dh10 as part of a new tariff structure in 2009 and the minimum starting taxi fare from Dubai to Sharjah or Ajman is Dh 20. The minimum fare of Dh10 was introduced to encourage taxi drivers to pick up passengers for short distances.
All major taxi companies in Sharjah and Dubai operate in Ajman. The cheaper sharing taxi system had reduced transport cost to low income residents. Introduction of sharing taxis have already hit the earnings of metered taxi companies. The sharing taxi fare was increased to Dh3 but still lower than the new minimum fare of Dh10.
After the Dubai metro was started and the minimum taxi fare set at Dh10, cabbies have reported an increase in the number of short trips.
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