A total of 125 Mwasalat taxis will hit the roads of Muscat on Tuesday, enabling passengers to book taxis through mobile apps for the first time. The company will take over the operations of taxi services at Muscat Airport from January. In the first phase, the services can be booked anytime and anywhere in Muscat through a mobile app (it has gone live now) or hailed directly from dedicated taxi slots at the commercial centres.
Payment can be made through cash initially, but gradually payment through credit cards and debit cards would be accepted.
Day fares (6 am to 10 pm) from Saturday to Thursday from commercial centres will start from RO 1. For on-demand services, it will start from RO 1.2, followed by 300 baisa per kilometre for both. Night fares (6 am to 10 pm) from Saturday to Thursday from commercial centres start from RO 1.3. For on-demand services, it will start from RO 1.5 with a 350 baisa increase per kilometre for both. Night fares will apply for trips on Fridays and public holidays.
Ahmed al Balushi, CEO, Mwasalat, said, “We hope to hit the roads with 125 taxis tomorrow, which will be gradually increased with the arrival of drivers and as per the demand. In some malls, you may still find some Orange taxis, but they will ultimately be taken over by Mwasalat.”
Al Balushi said, “All taxis will be fitted with electronic meters and a navigation map. The application will have facilities for passengers to rate the service and track the vehicle till it arrives at the pick-up point.”
The company hopes to have around 500 taxi drivers onboard under an operating model where they will be free to work on other jobs. “All that we will offer is the branding of the car, navigation equipment and electronic meters.” The approved minimum fare for Mwasalat taxi is RO 1.9, but the company will offer promotional rates till the end of January. “We will have a relook at the fare based on demand at the end of the promotional period.”
Mobbashir Abdulmajeed al Balushi, GM, Mwasalat Taxi said, “One of the challenges has been to get the current taxi owners on board. We have succeeded in getting some of them to join us. By launching this service, we will be able to get other taxi drivers also to join the club.”
All drivers have been trained in safety, customer service and the use of technology and electronic meters. It has urged customers to experience the service and give their feedback.