Roads and Transport Authorities (RTA) recently signed a deal with the e-hail taxi provider which could soon launch Uber services availability in other major cities across the world for taxi riders in Dubai.
Based on this deal, Uber company will be a part of RTA’s integrated mobility platform that will lead way to a study that will explore the viability of low-cost transport solutions as compared to its previous way of just providing limousine services in Dubai for over three years. Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA proclaimed, “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.” Carpooling and driverless cabs are also considered as options for UberPool as part of the study being conducted. The Regional Manager for Middle East, Anthony Khoury 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.” Over 14,000 existing cabs including 9,841 taxis and 4,700 limousines will be made available in Uber as a part of the two-pronged deal through its mobile application. But for the meantime, Uber company will not offer regular taxi services but will however continue with Uber Select, the premium limousine services, according to Anthony Khoury. The main focus of Uber is conducting a successful study that will allow the company to provide a wide-range 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,” said Khoury. Khoury mentioned that it is expected that it will much cheaper than the existing taxis although the Tariff has not been decided yet. “We haven’t still agreed on the tariff, the first phase of the study is to better understand what makes sense in terms of tariff. But I think there will be a big difference between the taxi fares and what we are going to provide,” he added. Providing a low-cost services as an alternative to private car ownership is the ultimate goal of the whole plan according to Khoury. “You don’t need to own a car, if you can rely on Uber to get a car within a minute anywhere for a relatively cheaper price. This will reduce congestion and we will then be able to launch UberPool, which is the product we have around the world where we have two or three people sharing a car, which means reducing congestion even more and hopefully the future vision is to have driverless cars,” he said. “These taxis won’t have the look and feel of a regular cab. the driver will be licensed by RTA, but it will give more people this opportunity to work for a couple of hours in a day and then continue with their daily life. It won’t be a full-time job,” he added, as to create an economy solution that is quite different from the regular taxis.