It is official, folks! The wait has finally come to an end, as you can now easily book a cab and be on your way to your preferred destination in a Marhaba taxi – Oman’s latest entrant in the metered-taxi service – with the simple touch of a button.
The taxis “discreetly” hit the roads in the capital city with its cars this week [Tuesday, April 11] as part of the company’s soft launch.
Currently, 46 cars are reportedly shuttling passengers to their preferred destinations – all with set fares that are dependent on the distance of the travel. The fares start at RO3.5, which will cover the ride for the first 5km. Following that, an additional 500 baisas will be added for every kilometre.
Residents who wish to avail the service can also book a taxi using the Marhaba Taxi Oman application, which can be downloaded via Google Play.
Ingenuity Technologies was reported to be working on the project in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism after it received the license to operate taxis from hotels, Port Sultan Qaboos and an on-demand service (mobile application) last year.
The source, who was not named, was quoted in the Oman Observer as saying that this was a “soft opening” and that more details would be announced soon. He added that all regulatory approvals were in place and that they had been waiting for the “appropriate time” to launch.
Two vendors will operate metered-taxis in Oman – Marhaba and Oman National Transport Company (Mwasalat).
Earlier last month, Yousuf al Hooti, project manager for Marhaba Taxi, told local media that 150 taxis were set to hit the roads.
“The taxis have been painted and around 150 drivers have also been trained. Right now, we are testing the applications,” he said.
“As we have finished training 150 taxi drivers, we are thinking of launching these on the road. We will slowly grow our fleet.”