Dubai taxi e-hail service adoption to reach 80%, says RTA
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Dubai taxi e-hail service adoption to reach 80%, says RTA

Dubai taxi e-hail service adoption to reach 80%, says RTA

According to RTA’s plan, Hala will promote the e-hailing service by creating new channels to draw more users

Neesha Salian
hala taxi

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has unveiled a plan driving the gradual shift from conventional taxi street-hail to e-hail services, aiming for an 80 per cent adoption rate for the latter in the coming years.

The plan is underscored by the success of Hala e-hailing rides, which accounted for 30 per cent of all taxi trips in Dubai in 2022.

RTA aims to have a dedicated fleet of taxis exclusively offering e-hail services using specific mechanisms and performance indicators for the service.

Mattar Al Tayer, director-general, chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), said the expansion of taxi e-hail services, as opposed to street-hailing, reinforces the government’s goal of transforming Dubai into the world’s smartest city.

He added that e-hailing has emerged as the most efficient means of matching taxi supply with demand and providing customers with hassle-free, efficient taxi services.

Hala to promote e-hailing taxi service

Hala will be responsible for promoting the e-hail service by creating new channels to draw more users and implementing incentive initiatives for drivers.

The plan also includes designating only those zones where e-hail services are accessible, allocating parking spaces for both street-hail taxis and e-hail vehicles, expanding parking availability in high-demand areas, and identifying these parking spaces on the RTA and Hala smart apps.

Al Tayer said: “The e-hail taxi service boosts the efficiency of taxi operations in Dubai by streamlining the process of locating and booking rides electronically. This leads to a higher percentage of trips with shorter waiting times of 3.5 minutes or less, thereby increasing customer happiness and satisfaction while reducing wasted mileage, fuel consumption, and carbon emissions,” he said.

He added, “Customers can also benefit from other features such as seamless in-app e-payment, optimal route selection, trip-sharing options, access to driver and vehicle details, and the ability to rate both the service and the driver.

“These services further support RTA’s initiatives to integrate diverse transport modes and offer first- and last-mile solutions, enabling mass transit users to conveniently reach their ultimate destinations.”

Aligning with global standards

Al Tayer said the shift from street-hailed taxi trips to e-hailing services aligns with leading global practices of the industry, as exemplified by Singapore, where 80 per cent of taxi services are facilitated through e-hailing.

“The initiative was further supported by an in-depth analysis and assessment of Hala, the e-hailing company, to identify the operational network, organisational structure and technological capabilities as Hala has experienced steady growth since its launch in 2019 in its user base, accounting for 11 per cent of total taxi trips in 2020, increasing to 18 per cent in 2021, and reaching 30 per cent in 2022.

“It is noteworthy that the 11,662 taxis operating in Dubai during the previous year completed 105 million trips,” Al Tayer said.

Here’s how to use the e-hailing service

  • To start, users need to download the Careem app on their mobile devices and set up a personal account.
  • Choose Hala vehicles from the available options and confirm their pick-up location.
  • Once the destination and preferred payment method are selected, users can tap the ‘Yalla’ button to finalise the booking. A text message containing the driver and booking information follows shortly.
  • The e-hail service provides a range of features, such as securing bookings in less than 10 seconds, locating the closest available vehicle, and monitoring the journey in real time.
  • Additionally, the service streamlines the process for drivers by allowing them to receive user requests via the e-hail system, eliminating the need for roaming.

In other news, in February, Udrive, the dedicated pay-per-minute car rental platform, launched a new dedicated fleet for residents and tourists looking to explore recreational, cultural and natural attractions in Hatta. The service has been launched in partnership with Dubai’s RTA and Dubai Holding to bring exclusive offers to the community.

Read: RTA, Udrive partner to launch Dubai-Hatta fleet

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