Taxi drivers in Doha seek dedicated parking spaces
April 14 2017 08:16 PM
Karwa taxis
Taxis waiting outside a hypermarket in Doha Friday. PICTURE: Jayan Orma.

Some taxi drivers want dedicated parking spaces for their vehicles on service roads along some of Doha's major roads, hospital compounds and government offices that receive a large number of visitors.
Such dedicated parking zones, say the cabbies, are essential for them to run taxis in an efficient and viable manner. 
Apart from the state-run Mowasalat's Karwa taxis, four franchisees are also operating taxis in Qatar at present. 
Speaking to Gulf Times, some taxi drivers said they were facing severe competition from 'other taxi operators' - or the so-called limousines - and it was high time they were allotted dedicated parking spaces so that they can get passengers more easily. 
"For passengers, too, it will be easier to find a taxi if such a dedicated facility is provided to us. They will not have to hunt or wait for a taxi," said one of them, stressing that limousine operators would not be able to 'take away' passengers from the regular cabbies if such a facility existed. 
Though taxis are allowed to freely enter mall premises in Doha or its outskirts, drop off and pick up passengers from there, dedicated parking spaces exist at only a handful of places, it is learnt.
"There are many customers who don't like waiting for long for a taxi to arrive. If there is a dedicated parking area for taxis in such places, customers could just walk down to catch a taxi parked there," said a cabbie.
Similarly, the demand for taxis is always high in the immediate neighbourhood of both government and private clinics in Doha. Customers waiting for taxis is a common sight in such places. 
Taxi drivers feel the allotment of exclusive parking spaces around hospitals and clinics would go a long way in making travel easier for customers there.
Similar facilities should be provided around ministries and government agencies that are visited by a large number of people and many of whom rely on taxis.
"We would not to have to waste our time - and fuel - looking for a parking space around all these places. A dedicated space will prove beneficial to all," said another driver.
Some of them said it would be good to have dedicated parking slots near embassies - particularly the busy ones - as well.

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