At least one-third of taxi fleet is not being operated by their franchisees these days owing to a host of reasons, especially on account of poor mechanical conditions, it is learnt.
However, Doha residents find adequate number of taxis and other options, including private ‘limousines' to meet their travel requirement.
Inquiries by Gulf Times found that between 450 and 500 cars, mainly belonging to two Karwa franchisees are off the roads.
Karwa taxi management office declined to comment.
Besides Karwa, four of its franchisees are also operating taxi services in Qatar. However, it is not known how many vehicles of the other two franchisees are laid off.
Though many of Karwa's own taxis were off the road for several months, the company has replaced most of them with new vehicles by now. According to its website, the company operates 1,200 taxis. But, it is not known how many of them are presently being operated.
Even though the number of taxis which are not operating now are far more than what it used to be a year ago, the easy availability of taxis is apparently owing to the effective use of the recently introduced Karwa app. Thanks to the app, taxi availability has improved even during the peak hours.
Karwa officials recently claimed that with the app becoming more effective the waiting time for taxis has fallen by nearly 600% than what it used to be. They claimed that now taxis are available for customers in approximately 15 minutes. The company sources themselves acknowledged that it used to take anywhere between three and six hours for booking taxis earlier.
Karwa, as per its ongoing expansion plans, has set a target of at least 7,000 taxis (including those operated by franchisees) on Qatar's roads when it is time for the FIFA 2022 World Cup.
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