Taxi in Sur (Ji-Elle)
Meters are finally coming to taxis in Oman following the entry of government-owned Mwasalat into the market.
The firm’s CEO, Ahmad bin Ali Al Bulushi,said at least 500 of its taxis would begin operating soon and metres would be installed in them before the end of the year, according to Times of Oman.
The plans include 150 airport taxis, 150 mall taxis and 200 taxis on call, as well as a dedicated taxi booking app and call centre.
“We are working closely with the Ministry of Transport to regulate the taxi business in Oman, and hope to start operating our vehicles by the first quarter of this year. By the end of this year, all our taxis will run on metres,” Al Bulushi was quoted as saying.
Taxi fares in Oman have long been subject to complaints from expats and tourists alike, due to a lack of uniform pricing.
Passengers often complain of being ripped off by drivers or inconsistencies in fares between the same locations.
Metered taxis were previously meant to be introduced to Muscat in 2008, but the Dubai-based company behind the plans abandoned the project during the 2008 economic slowdown.
Times of Oman reported existing drivers welcomed the introduction of metres and said they could mean prices would decrease.
Earlier this week, the publication said that taxi fares in the country had increased by up to 30 per cent due to rising fuel prices.
In June last year, Al Ibtikar for Informatics Technology was granted a licence alongside Mwasalat to operate taxis in Muscat.
Al Bulushi said the company was currently seeking Omanis to fill a number of supervisory roles ahead of its launch.