Dubai Transport Authority Considering City Car Sharing Service
Cutting emissions and decreasing the number of cars on the road has been a major focus for cities all over the world, and now Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is getting in the mix by contemplating changes to the public transportation system.
According to Mary Sophia of GulfBusiness.com, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is considering the possible implementation of short-term car rental facilities geared toward people who would normally drive their own vehicles in the crowded city.
Dubbed the Smart Rental initiative, the government’s hope is that the new car rental service would reduce emission in the city, offer more room on the Dubai Metro public transport and reduce traffic overall.
RTA director general and chairman of the board of executive directors, Mattar Al Tayer, spoke to GulfBusiness.com about the new initiative and car rental process:
“The gist of the initiative is that a person rents a car for a short period, not exceeding six hours, by using smart apps on mobile phones or online, and the vehicle will be collected from a public place without involving employees in the process. Once the mission is accomplished, the car has to be returned to a specific location nearby metro stations.”
For American drivers, this is a concept that has become very popular in the United States thanks to companies like Zipcar. Many of the larger car rental companies like Hertz and Enterprise have also gotten into the mix.
The RTA is looking to discuss three different possibilities for the car rental service. The first option is a person renting a car from a specific location and returning it to the same place. Another option is the customer being able to rent the car from any location and drop it off when finished at any of the other approved return depots. The third option will focus more on carpooling and coordinating multiple people using the same vehicle.
To gauge the interest of Dubai residents in the Smart Rental initiative, the RTA conducted a survey and found 66 percent of respondents liked the concept and 80 percent reported they’d use the service when provided.
Add in the fact that the city will also be installing bicycle tracks and lanes, and there is no doubt Dubai is doing what it can do cut down on emissions and vehicle traffic.
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