Dubai motorists cash in on transport demand by overcharging desperate commuters

Estimated read time 3 min read

Commuters wait for public buses or taxis opposite the Max Metro station in Bur Dubai. EXPAT MEDIA

As authorities in Dubai worked to fully restore all public transport services to normal operations, some enterprising motorists have reportedly taken advantage of the situation by overcharging desperate commuters.

Jonathan (full name withheld) told Expat Media that he was forced to pay Dh50 for a private ride from Al Rigga to his workplace in Bur Dubai on Friday (April 19).

“The Dubai Metro service was suspended in Al Rigga at around 7:30am. There didn’t seem to be any available bus or taxi on the streets as well as on the booking app, so I hailed a truck driver who agreed to take me and my colleague to our office in Bur Dubai. He charged us Dh50, and said the Dh10 will go to Salik fees,” Jonathan said, adding that the trip normally costs around Dh20 when using Dubai Taxi.

Hundreds of commuters faced delays at Al Rigga Metro station on Friday morning as train services were temporarily stopped due to operational issues. Metro users also reported the same issue on Thursday morning.

Another Al Rigga resident told Expat Media that she was also forced to take alternative transport after waiting for more than an hour and paid extra just to arrive to her workplace in time.

Ethel (full name withheld) said Dubai Metro services haven’t been restored in Salahuddin station since April 16. With no public transport available, she walked home for nearly two hours from Hyatt Regency Dubai along Deira corniche to her home in Deira. “Thankfully, my boss has arranged for a private driver so I don’t need to worry about coming to the office and getting home,” she told Expat Media.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) previously announced that it was working to fully restore all Dubai Metro services following the April 16 rain that caused widespread flooding in the emirate. On Thursday, the RTA said that taxi and bus services have been fully restored. However, increased demand coupled by flooding in some areas has resulted in delays and scarcity of public transport.

In the UAE, it is illegal for motorists to offering carlift services without a permit. The fine is Dh3,000 plus 24 black points on their traffic file. The car will also be impounded for 30 days. ICA/Expat Media

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