Dubai to explore low-cost cab, carpooling schemes
Staff Report Published: January 12, 2017
Uber has been operating in Dubai for the last three years, providing only premium limousine services, but under the new agreement, the company will be part of RTA’s integrated mobility platform and more importantly, will launch a study that will explore the viability of low-cost transport solutions, reported Gulf News.
“The agreement with Uber offers a new service for residents and visitors who wish to move around Dubai by taxis and limousines. RTA, in cooperation with Uber, is considering the deployment of new mobility options to cater to the needs of customers in Dubai and reduce vehicles on the roads,” Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA, reportedly said.
The study will also consider the options of having UberPool, which offers carpooling, as well as driverless cabs, the reports said.
“We had a shared vision for jointly developing a world-class economy solution that addresses the transport needs of the city and its ambitions towards becoming a global tourist and business hub. We look forward to the results of the study and to working with RTA on making Dubai a city that sets the standard for global innovation in the transport industry,” Anthony Khoury, regional manager for Uber Middle East, was quoted as saying.
The two-pronged deal also allows Uber to offer the services of more than 14,000 existing cabs including 9,841 taxis and 4,700 limousines through its mobile app, said the news portal.
However, according to Khoury, the company will not offer regular taxi services for now, but continue with its premium limousine service, the Uber Select.
For Uber, the real focus is on conducting a successful study that will enable them to roll out a variety of services.
“The study will be a carried out for six months in two phases. The first phase is to understand what will be the impact of the economy solution, mainly on Dubai’s congestion, financials as well as what makes sense for the city. The second phase is to have the vehicles on the road and to see how they will interact with the population. If all goes well then it would make sense for us and the RTA to roll out the solution throughout Dubai,” Khoury reportedly said.