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Sun 13 Oct 2019 12:06 PM

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Abu Dhabi launches carpooling system to help reduce car numbers

The Department of Transport system will allow residents to sign up to offer lifts to others, as well as look up potential rides from others

Abu Dhabi launches carpooling system to help reduce car numbers
According to local officials, the system will help Abu Dhabi reduce the number of vehicles on its roads as well as help slash carbon emissions.

Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transport has launched a new online system to help facilitate carpooling in the emirate ahead of the introduction of new toll gates later this week, it was announced on Saturday.

The system will allow residents to sign up to offer lifts to others, as well as look up potential rides from others.

According to local officials, the system will help Abu Dhabi reduce the number of vehicles on its roads as well as help slash carbon emissions.

Under the system, charging for a ride will remain illegal, although users can agree to share petrol costs and other expenses.

Abu Dhabi authorities had previously warned residents that carpooling was illegal and could lead to heavy fines and vehicles being impounded.

In an interview with the National, Saif Jabari, an assistant professor of civil and urban engineering at New York University Abu Dhabi, said the way carpooling is implemented in the UAE would be vital if the system is to have the same success that it has had in markets such as the United States.

“The short answer as to why people share their vehicles is additional income,” he said. “Incentivising drivers to participate and use their vehicles is critical.”

"This makes sense: transportation systems here are dominated by automobiles. The roads are great and the cars are nice,” he added. "But ride-sharing competes with other modes of transport and taxis. Users will have to believe that carpooling is an easy option and for transit to succeed, it has to be competitive."

A website for the new platform includes a tool that help calculate savings and carbon emissions savings.

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