14 September, 2007

Sharjah taxis and Salik

The Khaleej Times reports that Sharjah taxi drivers charge passengers double for the Salik toll. Since Sharjah taxis cannot pick up riders in Dubai, I don't see the problem. It's part of the cost that comes with asking a driver to take you to Dubai and return empty.

The bigger issue is that Dubai and Sharjah do not have a trade agreement allowing taxis in one to pick up riders in another. The negative public consequences in pollution, congestion, and protected markets (therefore higher fares) are substantial. It is in the public interest to remove these barriers to trade.


rosh said...

I don’t think there shall be a fair trade agreement between the two. SHJ is hometown, however I've no sympathy for those in power, planning its infrastructure. Even today, there is zero logic or common sense when the SHJ road system is developed. We see huge roundabouts, narrow roads and plenty of garden work/beautification work in the city.

What's worse is that, it's right next door to DXB, yet unable to take a leaf from DXB's fantastic infrastructure.

10 years ago, the Al Khan area was a bland desert space. Today it's a mini metropolis, thanks to the development and economy of Dubai. Basically, SHJ lives off DXB.

There is much those in power can do, instead, prefer to stick in the 70's era (and now) carry a Saudi mentality with red tappism & bureaucracy. I wouldn't blame DXB for not wanting to strike a deal with SHJ.

SHJ was a different city back in the days, quite positive.

Nadim said...

I experienced this, and refused to pay. How exactly is a passenger responsible for charges that are incurred AFTER s/he's left the vehicle?

@rosh: Your words could not ring any truer.

Sharjah's transport situation is an entire joke at this point, I have seen war-torn countries with a more functional system.

nick said...

It is in the public interest to remove these barriers to trade.

It would be in the publice interest to remove Sharjah from the face of the Earth.
It's just one huge cesspit. Hopeless.

rosh said...

"It would be in the public interest to remove Sharjah from the face of the Earth."

Hell yeah, that's the "fix" isn't it? SHJ isn't perfect, but it's not the worst place on earth. It needs guidance in the right direction - not removed from face of the earth!

Alexander said...

Sharjah taxis can't pay the Salik charge for themselves and they say that any other route is anything up to a 2-hour drive.

Many are simply refusing Dubai fares anyway - it's easier for them to make their money with Shj-Shj fares.

As I pointed out over at Fake Plastic Souks, they actually have it pretty hard...

Dubai Blogger said...

The bigger issue is how these fares are assessed. For example if the meter was programmed to recognize a DUBAI fair then the SALIK should be automatically priced for the passenger. BUT if the driver is asking for the money, then that is just stupid.

We all know what happens. The guys gets the cash and does not record it. Then illegally picks-up some one and takes them back to SHJ and charges them as well.

I don't think you can get rich off of SALIK fees, and it is probably just bad business altogether.

The UAE is not that big. They need some type of unified transit service that goes from emirate to emirate.

Then you could choose a local or "long distance" taxi. I know --buses are coming etc...but people around here are adjusted to a taxi culture.

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