Some 80 new taxis, with navy blue roofs, belonging to the Al Ijarah Holding company hit Doha roads during Eid holidays. Al Ijarah becomes the second private company to operate taxis, after Al Million launched its first fleet of 300 taxis earlier in July.
The 2,000 plus Karwa taxis had its first competitor after Mowasalat, the state-backed public transport company, awarded five-year contracts to three private companies to operate taxis on a franchise basis. The third company, Petro Qatar, is expected to join the fray early next year.
Al Ijarah had a soft launch of its taxi service during the Eid holidays, with an initial fleet of some 80 taxis. An official launch of the service is expected very soon.
The new cabs stand apart from the Karwa and Al Million taxis with their blue coloured roofs while carrying the brands of Al Ijaraha and Karwa together. The company is using Nissan Altima cars for its initial fleet.
The company has provided a toll free number (55700628) for the call center service. However, this service has not yet been activated, enquiries revealed yesterday. The new taxis are supposed to follow the same fare structure of the Karwa cabs.
Meanwhile, an official of the Al Million said yesterday that the company was going ahead with plans to add another 200 taxis by the end of December.
The three companies have been allowed to operate a maximum 500 taxis each. He hinted that business had not picked up as expected mainly due to the traffic congestions in the city.
There were also problems with some drivers who had to be sent back having failed in the driving tests or the mandatory medical check-up.