MUSCAT: Yousuf Al Hooti, project manager at Marhaba taxi, said: “We have a women-only taxi service in our plans and we have asked the government to give us the licence to operate.”
Giving out more details, he said these taxis will be driven by female drivers and will be slightly different in appearance in order to differentiate it from the other taxis running on the streets. “The colour of the taxis will be different. It will be pink, blue and white. We are studying the design right now,” he said.
Al Hooti said a timeframe for when the taxis will be operational hasn’t been set yet. “We are in the process and we have to take the licence from Ministry of Transport (MoT) and it can only be launched after getting necessary approvals from the Ministry of Transport,” he said.
Women across the Sultanate have been actively commenting on social media platforms calling for the introduction of women-only taxis.
In a recent interview about smart cities, Rashmi Shrivastava, a resident of Oman posted a comment, “Plz sir start taxi service only for ladies”. This is just one among the many comments regarding this that flood Times of Oman’s social media pages.
Another working woman residing in Ruwi said, “Ladies who don’t have a licence avoid taxis because of the lack of safety. I will start using taxis if women-only taxis are introduced”
A week after Marhaba taxi was launched in the Sultanate, Hooti claimed that he isn’t getting a positive response from some of the hotels as they have been associated with the orange and white taxis for a long time and have built strong relations with them.