When compared with other commercial vehicles operating on the same road network, taxi service seems to show to be involved in a higher number of road accidents, when statistically taken into consideration. The drivers involved in these accidents show a lot of negligence and lack of driving experience, leading to unfortunate consequences. This article presents some of the most important characteristics of the taxi service in Riyadh, and studies the kinds of accidents where taxis are most likely involved.
Taxi drivers in Saudi Arabia are required to have a driving license for all vehicles, including private cars and minibuses. Any passenger who wishes to hire a taxi must first give the driver a request for a taxi service. The request is granted based on the driver’s knowledge of driving, his driving experience, and the ability to follow all traffic laws. Taxis may be hailed through the driver’s mobile phone or radio; however, requests for taxi cabs must be made through the cab owner himself. Failure to hail a taxi cab through a mobile communication device is considered an illegal move. Failure to pay the required fare within the specified time, or failure to show up at the designated place for pickup, can also be considered as an illegal move.
There is a distinct lack of professionalism among drivers working for a taxi service in Saudi Arabia. Most drivers tend to pick up customers alone and do not conduct background checks or check passengers for intoxication. The result – excessive drunkenness on the part of passengers who were traveling in one of their licensed taxis. Most of these accidents were caused by either the driver the cab driver, or passengers who didn’t follow all traffic laws.
The cab driver is the one who holds the actual license to drive a cab. If he is found driving any kind of vehicle, he will be immediately suspended. It is recommended that the driver drives a company car instead of personal cars. This is the safest car, which is protected against the risk of accidents caused by drunk driving. However, if a private taxi company is hiring a driver, they are not bound to hire drivers with a valid license. For a personal cab service, all drivers are bound to have a valid license.
Hiring a taxi service is very expensive in Saudi Arabia. The minimum deposit required for a taxi is Dh50. Most taxi services require a credit card or debit card for payment. To avoid getting in trouble with tax authorities, it is recommended that a client pre-book her trip using an online service like Orbitz. This makes booking of taxis extremely convenient for customers.
Hiring taxi drivers from abroad has many benefits. Normally, foreign drivers are acquainted with the city streets and can easily find their way around. They can also speak a local language, so that there is no communication gap between them and the customer. However, hiring a foreign taxi driver poses certain security risks. Taxi drivers should be vetted by security forces before being allowed to travel abroad.
A major benefit of hiring a taxi service is the ability to use the taxi whenever and wherever one wishes to go. This flexibility opens new doors for tourists and locals alike. A tourist can easily hail a taxi from a bus stop and travel to her hotel. On the other hand, a local businessman can take a taxi to head to the airport, as well as to different locations within the city.
Finally, a taxi service can provide a great service at a low price. This is due to minimal operational costs of a taxi service. The cost of running a taxi service depends on factors like the number and variety of vehicles to be used, distance, speed, safety measures of the vehicle and fuel cost. All these factors can be manipulated to provide the best taxi service at reasonable prices.