The taxi drivers will be put through a 240 hour training course and could lose their jobs at the end of it, if they haven’t improved.
The strategy comes after thousands of complaints were made to the Dubai Taxi Corporation from passengers about the service. The training course will be held at the Taxi Drivers Training and Qualification Centre and will test driving skills and standards, as well as the ability to handle passengers from a wide variety of cultures.
Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO of the Licensing Agency at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Head of Dubai Taxi Corporation Supervisory Committee, told 7DAYS, the popular free daily newspaper in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), “Many clients are not happy with the quality of some drivers. The centre has been fitted with new equipment and has acquired experienced trainers to help improve the general quality of the service,”
Bahrozyan also suggested that if drivers were below standard, they could be sacked from their job and lose their commercial taxi insurance.
He said, “We don’t want drivers to only think about their commission, we want to make them understand that they also have an obligation to satisfy a client and an obligation towards the entire community.”
With bad driving being the main concern, the corporation received 12,768 complaints about its 3,504 taxi fleet in 2010.
Other complaints included abusive language, poor hygiene and drivers refusing to pick up passengers at certain times of the day. Acting CEO of Dubai Taxi Corporation, Yousef Al Ali, said “Taxi drivers are our ambassadors… and have to be trained to the best standards.”
One regular taxi passenger welcomed the news of the training who told 7DAYS, “Most of the drivers do not even know the roads and they are rude. I hope the training centre will help to improve their attitude.”
A cab driver, who asked not to be named, also agreed that there was a need for more training. However, he warned that there could be a shortage of drivers if those who were not up to scratch were sacked. He said, “Those who fall below the required standards should be allowed to undergo further training to help them meet the requirements rather than sacked. Many drivers behave the way they do because they lack training.”
The driver, who has been a cab driver in Dubai for 5 years, said he had 10 hours of training when he joined the company, after which he had to do an interview in English, a theory exam and a practical driving test.