Muscat: The Muscat Municipal Council in a meeting on Monday reviewed challenges faced by the public road transport system in the city, including
geographical terrain of Oman, frequent flooding of roads and lack of
integration between various government institutions.
The council approved the Land Transport Law to be implemented by the government, including the revamp of the taxi services, the establishment of a
public transport hub in the city and measures for the safety of road users and
The council welcomed the supervision of the random practices of a group of expatriates who transported tourists and arrivals from ports, airports, hotels and public places in their private vehicles. It called for awareness and training programmes for taxi drivers on the new land transport law and
wanted even minibuses (14 seaters) to be included under the new land
Already unauthorised passenger transport to Muscat International Airport attracts a fine of RO 200.
Orange and White taxi operators said there more need to be done on curbing any time of illegal activities. “We are already seeing a big drop in the business for various factors. The cost of fuel and insurance has gone up at the same time. We are not against competition but there should be fair level playing ground,” said Harrasi, a taxi driver who daily travels from Quriyat to Muscat for business.
“The rules can be stricter but it has to be just and fair. Any crackdown on erring operators should be not at the cost of licensed and hardworking taxi drivers,” said Rashid, an elderly taxi operator in Ruwi.
The Muscat Municipal Council’s third session of the year was chaired by
Mohsin bin Mohammed al Shaikh, chairman of Muscat Municipality.