“The first was granted to Mwasalat Taxi for operating service at Muscat airport and malls. The second was granted to Marhaba Taxi to operate service at hotels and Port Sultan Qaboos (PSQ). Both companies will also offer on-demand services.” The ministry has said that orange taxi operators will not be allowed to offer their services at the locations assigned to the two companies and on-demand service unless they operate under the licensed companies.
“We urge all taxi owners operating near hotels and PSQ to join Marhaba Taxi and those operating at Muscat airport and malls to join Mwasalat Taxi. If they are not keen to join, then the two companies have the right to invite any Omani owning a taxi to join them.” The ministry said that the new steps have been taken to generate more revenues and serve customers in a better way.
“The government aims to optimise its existing facilities so that more people including tourists use taxi service.” MoTC has said that it had received several suggestions on the need for a better management of taxi service in the country. “It needed regulation to run the service in a professional manner. One of the suggestions from business houses, Omanis and expats was to have metered taxi service system.”
The ministry said that keeping these demands in mind “several measures have been initiated to streamline taxi service”. “After Land Transport Act came into force, we organised discussions for drafting the regulations to manage taxi service. Concerned authorities and a group of taxi operators were invited to these sessions for their opinions.”
The ministry said that the two companies aim to improve the service by installing meters, focusing on safety and security, and through driver training. “Taxi operators can avail the best offers for buying, repairing, motor insurance, health insurance and other benefits. In return, the two companies will take a percentage of the profit and half the revenues earned from advertisements on cars.”
As for taxis operating in other locations, they will have to comply with the regulations that MoTC is going to release soon. “We are currently reviewing the proposals for installing meters on all taxis as seen in a number of GCC countries and other countries across the world.”