Following the launch of the Smart Car Rental service last week by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai, the sharing system which the two operating companies avail can lead to each car reducing as many as 17 vehicles off the road daily.
The vehicles are rented by the public at an hourly basis not exceeding six hours – and driven only in the emirate of Dubai – with rental value ranging from fils 40 to 50 per minute which equals to Dhs24 to Dhs30 per hour.
The RTA began the service with 200 vehicles shared by two regulated private companies: U drive and ekar, each owning 100 vehicles bearing green and white rooftop and grey with white rooftop respectively. The service is offered via smart apps by the two companies: U Drive UAE and ekar.
“If each car can serve four occupants at a go, and it is operating all day-long, 24/7, then it is clear that it can dislodge more than a dozen vehicles off the road daily,” said Muniirah, a publicist with ekar.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ekar, Vilhelm Hedberg, also said that his company likes to “present a car sharing system, which requires membership with each member paying Dhs20 per month.”
According to the Managing Director of U Drive, Hasib Khan, “The transient nature of life and the overriding costs of car ownership in Dubai with its Smart Vision, makes car sharing an excellent mobility solution.”
By deploying the cars at five main locations at Dubai Metro stations: Rashidiya, BurJuman, Ibn Battuta, Union, and Business Bay Stations and in 40 other areas around the emirate, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Public Transport Agency at the RTA, Abdulla Yousef Al Ali, summarised the aim as another way of having passengers of public transport be able to reach anywhere, any time.
After an evaluation which will be carried out in the next three months, there are likely to be tenders for the smart car rentals, according to Al Ali.
By working closely with Dubai Police, the booking rules state that the UAE-resident customers should first register in the system to avail the service by entering ID, driving licence and credit card details, in addition to a photo of the ID holder (to verify registration in the system). Visitors are required to enter passport, visa, driving licence and credit card details.
“Upon validating the accuracy of data provided, the customer is issued with a Personal Identification Number (PIN), before he or she can enter the user name and password. The customer can now track the cars available and then book one,” said Al Tayer.
“The car door is opened by clicking an icon in the smart App and is switched on by entering the (PIN) in the device fitted in the vehicle. The vehicle can be locked through the Smart App and parked at RTA’s parking lots only. The bill will be dispatched to customers via the e-system.”