New English 'tests' for Dubai taxi drivers

A specialist company in the field of English language education and personalised behavioural tests will be selected to deliver the service to the taxi sector. (Supplied)

The Public Transport Agency, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), has embarked on an initiative setting out new world-class standards for enticing and recruiting cabdrivers in Dubai.

The step, which is taken in collaboration with one of the leading international firms in this regard, is intended to improve this aspect and align it with the ongoing development seen by the UAE in general and Dubai in particular.

Dr. Yousef Mohammed Al Ali, CEO of Public Transport Agency at the RTA, said: “The RTA is seeking to bring happiness to all customers, especially users of taxis; a vital sector with implications on the tourist profile of the emirate.

“Dubai is increasingly shaping into a global tourist attraction and a premier hub for a variety of business events, activities, conferences and exhibitions attracting business leaders and participants from all corners of the world.

“We have conducted elaborate studies in collaboration with Mary Gober International Ltd on procedures of attracting and employing taxi drivers in Dubai, and deploying them in all franchise companies operating in the emirate (including RTA’s Dubai Taxi Corporation).

“The ultimate objective of the move is to standardise and overhaul procedures and conditions for recruiting cabdrivers at franchise companies,” explained Al Ali.

The study covered certain parametres such as results of the English language test, psychometric test built on service standards and orientation, resilience, communications, problem-solving, and self-management.

These aspects will be part of the basic procedures of selecting taxi drivers.

“Afterwards behavioural interviews will be made comprising five questions derived from the above-mentioned standards of service,” explained Al Ali.

A specialist company in the field of English language education and personalised behavioural tests will be selected to deliver the service to the taxi sector.

The underlying objective of this step is to raise the bar on the standards and stipulations of recruitment of taxi drivers, standardise procedures adopted in Dubai, step up the occupational efficiency of drivers, and minimise complaints and raise the satisfaction of taxi users.

The methodology of this study included visiting taxi franchise companies, holding workshops to identify procedures, variations and bottlenecks, holding workshops with service users and drivers to figure out their needs, which will improve the service level, and carrying out analysis of complaints received from service recipients.

The study also sought to identify work procedures and future services needed to uplift the service. It also examines work procedures, improved future services, strategic plans of public transport, and the best international practices adopted in the taxi business in Singapore and the UK.

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