Al Million taxis start plying

July 02, 2012 - 12:18:40 am


Abdul Kader Mydeen, Managing Director of Al Million Service and Trading & Contracting (MSTC) along with Abdulla Saad Al Mahmoud, Sponsor and Partner of MSTC and Ali Bahzad, Director of Taxi and Limousine services at Karwa flags off the new fleet of Al Million taxis yesterday. M R Qureshi, Charge d’ Affaires of India is also seen. Shaival Dalal

DOHA: The first private taxi company in Qatar has become a reality, with its initial fleet of 300 taxis hitting the roads yesterday.

The new cabs operated by the Al Million Group stands apart from the Karwa taxis with their maroon-coloured roofs, while following the tariffs and quality standards set by Mowasalat, the state-owned public transport company.

The new cabs were flagged off by Ali Behzad, director of Taxi and Limousine services at Mowasalat, flanked by Abdel Kader Moideen, managing director of Al Million Services, Trading and Contracting company (MSTC), Abdulla Saad Al Mahmoud, sponsor and partner of MSTC, M R Qureshi, Charge d’ Affaires at the Indian embassy and other dignitaries at a ceremony at the Intercontinental hotel yesterday.

Giving the new taxis a competitive edge in the market, Al Million is offering state-of-the-art call center services and an automated dispatch system, supported by latest GPS/GPRS technology. The company has tied up with Vodafone Qatar to introduce a new SMS call centre service.

To book a taxi, a customer can call the toll free number 8005500. The call centre staff will take details about the location of the customer. Using GPS, the call centre will identify the nearest taxi available and in one or two minutes send a text message to the customer informing about the expected time of arrival of the taxi and contact details of the driver.

“Our target is to reduce the waiting time to a maximum 15 minutes after a customer places a booking through the call centre. If it would take longer the call centre staff will inform the customer in advance so that the customer can take a decision,” M C Shetty, manager, projects and operation at Al Million told The Peninsula.

The GPS/GPRS enabled technology will also help easily retrieve any items left behind by a customer in a taxi, he added.

Ali Behzad said the new taxis have been allowed to serve all locations in the country, except the Doha International Airport, which will continue to be served exclusively by Karwa taxis and limousines.

Al Million was the first company to win a public bidding following a decision by Mowasalat to allow private companies to operate taxis on a franchise basis. Two other companies — AlIjarah National Leasing Holding and Petro Qatar — have also been awarded five-year contracts to operate taxis and are expected to launch their services in a year.

The Peninsula