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App-Based Smart Car Rental Service Launches In Dubai

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【Summary】The Roads and Transport Authority has started the Middle East’s first pay-per-minute car rental service in Dubai with 200 vehicles.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Jan 19, 2017 12:59 PM PT
App-Based Smart Car Rental Service Launches In Dubai

Services that help ease stress from not owning a vehicle or ones that can be used to supplement vehicle ownership have become popular in the United States. Lyft, which is heading towards a future that includes ridesharing, and Uber, which has been testing self-driving cars, for instance, provide users with easy ways to get around without owning a vehicle. The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has just launched the Middle East's first pay-per-minute car rental service in Dubai. 

The RTA introduced the Smart Rental Service, which is the first of its kind in the Middle East, with 200 automobiles, reports Emirates 24/7 News. The service, according to the report, allows users to rent vehicles for up to six hours through applications for smartphones. 

The Service's Basics

To launch the program, RTA partnered with UDrive and ekar, car rental companies, which will operate 100 vehicles each. The fare to rent a vehicle ranges from approximately Dh24 to Dh30 per hour, which equates to $6.53 to $8.17 an hour. 

In a speech delivered during the inauguration ceremony, Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA, stated, "The smart rental service supports RTA's efforts to bring happiness to people and increase the ridership of public transport means." 

The service officially began on Monday and, as Emirates 24/7 News reports, aims to make getting around easier for users who utilize Dubai's metro and tram systems. RTA plans to offer the service through the Integrated Mobility Platform in Dubai at a later stage, as well.

"Vehicles are deployed over 45 locations including five main locations at Dubai metro stations namely: Rashidiya, Burjman, Ibn Battuta, Union, and Business Bay Stations," claimed Tayer. "RTA would also mull the provision of the service using environment-friendly electric or hybrid vehicles." 

The service, which is not only a cost-effective alternative to owning a vehicle, but also a way to reduce congestion, is cheaper than fetching a taxi, reports Zaway. Ponying up Dh24 to Dh30 an hour includes parking fees, insurance, and fuel costs for the vehicle. 

How Does The Service Work?

According to Gulf News, via Zawya, the transport system is intuitive and easy to use. The outlet accessed the service through an application that can be found on a smartphone. There is a one-time registration process at the beginning, which requires users to upload their driver's license, passport details, and Emirates ID. The setup process, according to the report, takes approximately 15 minutes. But it could take a few hours for the system to process the application. 

Once approved, users are required to upload a credit card for payment. Users are then given a bespoke identification pin and charged a monthly membership fee of Dh20, roughly $5.45. 

The app gives users the location of the nearest vehicle, steps on how to unlock the vehicle, and then allows the driver to set off. The allotted amount of time begins the second the user types his or her unique identification pin into a device, which is found inside the glove box of the vehicle. 

The trip, and rental, comes to an end when the vehicle is dropped off to the original pickup location or at one of RTA's parking zones.

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