Abu Dhabi taxis to provide WiFi access
All public taxis in Abu Dhabi will provide WiFi access to passengers by mid-2017, a top transport official said in the capital.
Routers that enable WiFi are already being installed across the 7,645 taxis by the emirate’s taxi regulator, the Centre for Regulation of Transport By Hire Cars – TransAD, said Mohammad Al Qamzi, general manager at TransAD.
“We tried the system in six taxis, and it was very successful. So rollout is beginning in September, and we will install the WiFi routers in about 50 taxis every day, starting with the Airport Taxis. We want passengers to have a comfortable and convenient ride,” he explained.
TransAD oversees the operation of all taxis, which are managed by seven franchisees.
Last year, closed circuit television cameras were set up in all these vehicles, and while they are mainly used to resolve incidents that arise during the taxi’s operation, the cameras have also been helpful in returning lost items to passengers.
“We can track what happens to a lost item, especially if one passenger leaves it behind and it is then picked up by another. For instance, a recent commuter left a cellphone behind, then reported it to our lost-and-found hotline. We reviewed the camera recordings and saw that the next passenger had taken the phone. So we alerted the police and the phone was returned to its owner,” Al Qamzi said.
TransAD is now able to return nearly 70 per cent of all items lost in taxis.
“Of course, cellphones are the items that customers leave behind most often,” he said.
According to the official, an earlier plan to install interactive touchscreens in taxis has been put on hold for now since the market for them did not prove favourable.