Muscat: A fleet of 600 tourism taxis will be part of the new service, which can be accessed through mobile phones, the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) announced recently.
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The one-touch application (app) for tourism taxis in Oman will soon go online, according to officials. According to officials at Ingenuity Technologies LLC, which has partnered with the ministry in introducing the mobile app accessed taxis, a target for registering 600 taxis was set initially, which will be extended later.
Speaking to the Times of Oman (TOO), Amira Al Sheidi of Ingenuity Technologies LLC, reiterated that the initial target is 600 taxies, which will come under this service. “Later, more taxies will be registered and enrolled under this service,” she said, in an e-mail interview.
Officials at Ingenuity—a leading solutions provider—said the taxis will be available to commuters through a mobile app service and website, along with call centre services.
Ingenuity Technologies specialises in providing information security solutions, with a focus on security, safety and identity solutions.
Catering to tourists
Al Sheidi also said the new app is targeted at the tourism sector and will cater to the demands of the tourists visiting the country.
“The concept of the service is to provide easy, secure and premium taxi service to tourists visiting Oman and help promote tourism development in the country,” she said.
She added that the vision behind this is to empower Oman tourism and at the same time provide support to emerging Omani taxi owners to help them enrol in this service and provide an elite class service for the country.
“The enrolled taxi members will be provided with various benefits, such as exclusive discounted rates for taxis from leading agencies within Oman, special discounted insurance rates, training and certificates, etc. Also, we are working with banks to provide special finance rates for buying vehicles that will be used under this service,” Al Sheidi added.
She also said they plan to launch this taxi services before the tourist season.
“We will also provide the taxi drivers with proper training on the standards to be maintained to meet the requirements of the service,” she stated.
The taxi fares are under discussion and will be disclosed when the service starts its operations.
“Even the design is currently pending approval and will be released as soon as it receives the proper approvals,” she said.
Regarding how different it will be from orange and white cabs, she said the taxis registered under this service will be trained, registered with follow up from the company on the quality of services.
“The vehicles should follow MoT standards with inspection for cleanliness and hygiene and the name of the taxi to be announced in a few weeks,” she said.
Free mobile application
The customer will be provided with a free mobile application, with the help of which he or she can request for a taxi. Alternately, the customer can book the taxi by calling the call centre. The customer can select the type of vehicle (Saloon, 4x4, etc.) and then enter the destination.
The information for this request will be sent to all the taxis under this service that are around that area allowing them to accept if they are ready for taking the next customer. When the taxi driver accepts the request the information of the driver, expected arrival time, and vehicle details will be sent to the customer.