UberX launches pilot in Dubai, lower prices revealed

Dubai's RTA and ride-hailing app announce start of trial for service to provide affordable travel in city
By Staff writer
Mon 17 Apr 2017 03:58 PM

Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and ride-hailing app Uber on Monday announced the trial of the uberX service that aims to provide passengers in Dubai with access to affordable travel.

The announcement comes following a partnership agreement between Uber and the RTA in January to study new mobility options to support Dubai Plan 2021.

The pricing of uberX will include a AED5 base fare, with additional costs of AED1.37 per km or AED0.4 per minute.

Until now, Uber, estimated to be valued at $60 billion and its regional rival, Careem, valued at $1 billion, have been barred from offering economical services in Dubai as regulations require their fares to be 30 percent higher than local taxis.

“Uber’s fare is based on a combination of base fare, trip time and distance travelled. Depending on the nature of the trip some fares might be on par or slightly higher than RTA Taxi fares,” an Uber spokesperson said.

The pilot uberX will be rolled out gradually over a trial period of 3 months starting Monday. It starts with a limited number of vehicles, and expanding to a wider pool of riders and driver-partners, a statement said.

uberX will be priced lower than the current UberSELECT, while still offering the same expected levels of safety, reliability, and convenience, the statement added.

After the trial period, the two sides said they will study its results and decide to whether to carry on, develop the service or discontinue it.

Abdulla Yousef Al Ali, CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency said: “The announcement of this pilot service is a very encouraging news for Dubai. Smart mobility is a key pillar of every smart city and the provision of economy solutions is an integral element of the smart mobility.

“Through this initiative, we aim to expand and enhance the integration with public transport modes including metro, tram, public buses and marine transport means in Dubai based on the First and Last miles,” said Al Ali.

Chris Free, general manager, Uber UAE added: “We are very excited about this partnership with the RTA and to bring uberX to Dubai, a city leading the way in smart technologies. This launch promotes our belief that increased access to economic and reliable modes of transport will provide a viable alternative to individual car ownership.”

The announcement of this pilot follows the successful rollout of uberX in cities across the Middle East, including Riyadh, Cairo, and Beirut.

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