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Sun 24 May 2015 11:27 AM

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Dubai to consider launching hourly car rental scheme

Smart Rental initiative will offer cars for hire for Dubai Metro users for a short period of time

Dubai to consider launching hourly car rental scheme
Example of a similar car sharing system in operation in Spain.

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is considering introducing a smart car rental system for the city’s metro stations, allowing people to hire a car on an hourly basis.

The Smart Rental initiative will offer cars for hire for Dubai Metro users for a short period of time, of up to six hours, which is hoped will improve the mobility of public transport users to their final destinations.

The RTA has said the scheme could help increase use of public transport, reduce car ownership, and minimise carbon emissions.

“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," Mattar Al Tayer, director general and chairman of the board of executive directors of RTA said.

He said the RTA is considering three models of smart rental, with private companies to be offered tenders in the near future. 

“The first is two-way rental model, where a person will collect the car from a specific location (near a public transport station) and the car has to be delivered back after use to the same location. The second is a one-way rental model, where a car will be collected from one location and delivered to another location. The third model is station vehicles, where a number of users will share the same vehicle. The RTA is planning to offer the project to private companies in the near future," Al Tayer explained.

A survey commissioned by the RTA has shown that 66 percent of respondents in Dubai welcomed the idea, while 80 percent of them reported they would use the cars when provided.

“It also showed that 50 percent of respondents believed that the model is highly relevant to shopping and visits during holidays,” added Al Tayer.

Similar systems are already available in Europe, in Spain and the UK, where the City Car Club has been running since 2,000 and has around 840 smart cars in its fleet.

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