News : Common Toll-free Number, Call Centre for Taxis Soon
Doha, Qatar Nov 11, 2014 -- All taxis in Qatar will soon have a unified call centre facility and a single toll free number to be operated by the public transport company Mowasalat.
The new toll free number will be launched shortly, a Mowasalat official has disclosed.
Besides Karwa, four private companies are now operating taxis based on a franchise agreement with Mowasalat. The newly launched taxis are using the Mowasalat call centre number while the other companies have independent toll free numbers.
"The idea is to integrate all these numbers, under our unified call centre. We are currently doing a trial run and the unified call centre facility is expected to become fully operational by year-end," the official told this daily yesterday.
He said even after the new number is launched, the private taxi companies will be allowed to retain their independent numbers for a while. "They may be allowed to use their own numbers for a limited period but eventually they will be required to adopt the common number," said the official.
Once the unified call centre becomes fully operational, all requests for taxis will be handled by this centre through the common toll free number. The new sophisticated call centre will also change the current system of booking taxis.
Once a request for a taxi is made, the call centre, using the GPS system, will track the nearest taxi available and ask the driver to go to that customer.
"It does not matter which company the taxi belongs to. The purpose of the centre is to provide faster and better service to the customers," said the official.
The new call centre will also enable more effective monitoring of the movement of taxis as well as the performance of drivers. Apparently all operators would be linked to the unified call centre and allowed to track and monitor their own vehicles independently.
The official said that new advanced meters are also being installed in taxis to prevent tampering by drivers.
Currently, about 3,500 taxis are on the roads operated by Karwa and the four private companies — Al Million, Al Ijarah, Ibin Ajayan Trading Group and Profit Group. All the taxis operate under the Karwa brand and follow the standards and tariffs set by Mowasalat. Taxis belonging to different companies are identified mainly through their distinct roof-colour.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Wednesday, November 12, 2014