People dependent on Karwa taxis were affected the most yesterday as the usual rush at malls increased over the weekend.
Some had to stand in queues for an hour to get a cab outside some malls.
Outside the City Center, there were not enough taxis at the main entrance.
Tired of waiting in the humid weather, some people took private taxis even though they were over-charging. “I’ve been waiting here for over half an hour and I’m looking for a private taxi because I don’t have any option,” said Paula, from the Philippines, who had come to shop for groceries.
One private taxi driver said the rush had increased because many people received their salaries over the weekend and some were shopping for back to school items.
“Usually, there is a lot of rush during the last weekend of the month outside most malls. Many taxi drivers take advantage of it and don’t start the meter,” said Mohammad, a part-time private taxi driver.
He claimed that nearly 70 percent of Karwa drivers do not start the meter when they see the rush.
“Many people are willing to pay any amount because they do not want to wait for a long time,” he said, admitting that even he had over-charged customers.
He said as per rules, if the meter of a government taxi is not started, passengers do not have to pay anything. If the driver insists, they can report him to authorities.
“Most people don’t call authorities because they think it would be an unnecessary trouble for them,” he added.
Although the number of taxis has increased by nearly 50 percent this year with Karwa, Al Million and Alijarah operating more taxis, many people complain of poor services. Some taxis also cancel bookings at the last moment because of the non-availability of taxis.
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