DOHA: The new charcoal grey-roofed ‘Capital Taxis’ hit the road yesterday with a promise to serve all parts of the country, especially localities outside Doha where there is a shortage of taxis.
The new service is operated by Ibin Ajayan Trading Group, a leading Qatari company specialising in transportation and automotive business.
Ibin Ajayan, exclusive dealers of Skoda cars in Qatar, is the fourth private firm to operate taxis based on a franchise deal with Mowasalat.
The new service started operations with 50 cars and the company plans to expand the fleet to 500 in two months, an official said.
With its 47-year presence in transport sector in Qatar, Ibn Ajayan claims a competitive edge for its new service. “Our automobile workshops and after sales facilities are among the best in the GCC. This would naturally place our vehicles, including Capital Taxis and their services, ahead of our competitors,” said Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Chairman of the Group.
The new taxis will compete with the Karwa taxis of Mowasalat and those run by three private firms — Al Million, Al Ijarah and Profit Group.
Besides Doha, Capital Taxis will operate in towns like Al Rayyan, Al Khor, Mesaieed, Al Wakra, Al Wukair and Dukhan. “We will have a certain number of taxis stationed in these localities to provide faster service to residents. We are conducting a study on the requirements of each area,” G Ravi Pillai, in charge of the Capital Taxi project, told this daily yesterday.
The new taxi will use Mowasalat’s unified call center where a booking can be made through the Karwa toll free no 4458888.
“The GPS communication system helps Karwa as well as other taxi operators to monitor the movement of their taxis real time. When a request is made, Karwa call center will identify and dispatch the nearest taxi available in the locality concerned,” said Pillai.
He added that a common toll free number will soon be allocated to all operators by Karwa’s unified call center.
He said capital taxis are using the new advanced meters provided by Karwa that have additional protection against possible tampering by drivers. The company has recruited a team of drivers who have experience of working in Qatar and other GCC countries. They are being paid monthly wages along with a commission, he added.