When a six-seater taxi stops by the side of the road to pick up a passenger, the fare is the same as that of a regular, 4-seater taxi in Dubai.

That is what most taxi drivers claim and what customers are led to believe.

However, the big, ‘family’ taxi applies a different taxi fare per kilometre, the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) has confirmed to Emirates 24|7.

“There is a difference of 10 per cent in the fare of six-seater taxis and regular taxis when picking up customers on the road,” said Issa al Hashemi, Director of Planning and Business Development.

“However, the same flag rate is applied.”

The charge per km is Dh1.86 and cab fare starts from Dh3, if the six-seater taxi is not coming from the airport and has not been booked in advance.

A regular taxi applies a rate of Dh1.71 when hailed on the road.

When taking a big taxi from the airport, a Dh25 is the starting fee.

The charge per km is the same, says Al Hashemi.

Clear the confusion

The RTA hopes to clear the confusion that exists among users.

“I took a taxi van the other day and I was told by the driver that the price is the same as in a regular taxi,” said Sheliosa Marbaniang, a commuter living in Dubai.

“As far as I know the taxi fare is the same for regulars and vans. I have never noticed a price difference,” says Itika Jumrati, a regular taxi user and resident of Dubai.

What the taxi stickers says

A sticker in the front seat of the six-seater taxi informs has the following information:

– Starting fare for regular and family van: Dh3 daytime, Dh3.5 nighttime
– Starting fare for regular and family van through booking and dispatch center: Dh6 daytime, Dh7 nighttime

For airport taxi services and fares:

– Regular taxi starting fare Dh20, fare per kilometer 1.71
– Family van starting fare Dh25, fare per kilometer 1.86

Drivers’ view

Drivers of the 6-seater taxis themselves believe not many people hail them on the road for fear they will have to pay a higher fare.

“A lot of people think that there is an additional charge and they refuse to get in,” on driver, who asked not to be named, told this website.

Fare calculator

With the extra fare per kilometer for the 6-seaters, the ten per cent difference may be difficult to notice over a short distance.

However, multiply the km rate of 16fils by 30 and it begins to add up.

“Bigger taxis are always more expensive than regular cars,” says Al Hashemi.

These rates also apply to the ‘ladies-only’ and family vans which the RTA only run from the airport.

Charges for ‘special-needs taxis’ depend on the situation.

Recently the RTA limited the availability of the airport cab to 6-seater taxis only, with regular taxis available on request.

Meanwhile, a number of taxi vans continues to serve customers in the city, and remains available through the dispatch center.

source: emirates24