Muscat: Two companies have been awarded taxi licences by the Ministry of Transport—a first for the city.
The firms now have to deliver business plans before starting operations. The strict rules governing meters and driver conduct should ensure greater passenger safety and value for money, according to officials.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications is keen to develop the public transport system in the Sultanate while ensuring high quality service.
Two companies—Al Ibtikar for Informatics Technology and Mwasalat—have been licenced to operate across a number of different areas in Muscat.
Al Ibtikar for Informatics Technology was licenced to regulate taxis at the Sultan Qaboos Port and three, four and five-star hotels, as well as provide on-call taxi services in the governorate of Muscat.
Mwasalat’s licence includes regulating the Muscat International Airport’s taxis, shopping malls taxis and also starting an on-call service.
The two companies must send all drivers for training courses and provide the latest tracking technology.
Both companies have also been directed to install meters to calculate the fare and all taxis should obtain operating cards issued by the ministry, which must be kept in the car at all times.
Each company should have the taxi design approved by the Ministry of Transport and Communications and other authorities concerned.
The companies should operate vehicles that are less than five years old .
The companies will also be allowed to install advertisements on the body of the vehicle generate extra income.
The Ministry is working on a study within other relevant authorities to determine tariff for the service. The companies concerned have been told to provide their implementation plan and identify the taxis as soon as possible.