Otaxi service suspended, firm told to get licence

The taxi service offered by Otaxi has been suspended. The Ministry of Transport and Communication (MoTC) has “requested immediate suspension” of Otaxi services over absence of licence, the company has said. Otaxi company, established by young Omanis in 2013, began operating a year later. It has more than 100 drivers working 24 hours in Muscat and Suhar. The company was asked to obtain a licence for running its services. It had received support as an entrepreneur when it secured the second place at the SAS competition two years ago. Social activists felt such innovative projects should be encouraged than restrained.

“The ministry should speed up the licence process so that the company is back on track soon. I suggest that the MoTC lift the suspension and let the company continue its services while it works to obtain the permit,” Ahmed al Siyabi, a social activist, tweeted. Noora al Dhahori, a customer, said: “I hope this permit issue doesn’t take long. I used the service and really enjoyed it.” Otaxi clients wondered what would happen next especially since they used it daily. Yeru Ebuen, a customer, cited more than one reason for using its services, including convenience, innovation, safety and pricing.

“Waiting for long hours on the roadside for taxis was frustrating. When a friend introduced me to Otaxi, it came as a relief. It was convenient. I could book it through an app, fill in details about location and contact, and within minutes, the car would arrive.” The app gives you the fares depending upon your location. “You have the choice to take the cab or not. You don’t have to bargain with the drivers because the price is reasonable and affordable.” Ebuen hopes it is just a matter of time and the problem is resolved soon.

Zainab al Nassri