Etihad Rail's Nicolas Petrovic (left) and Uber's Frans Hiemstra sign the MoU. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE National Rail Network, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ride hailing and food delivery company Uber, where they will collaborate on enhancing first- and last-mile initiatives, expanding services across the UAE, mobility data analysis, and exchanging best practices.

The MoU ceremony was attended by Nicolas Petrovic, Mobility CEO at Etihad Rail, and Frans Hiemstra, Director and Regional General Manager of the Middle East and Africa at Uber.

According to the agreement, both parties will collaborate to understand passenger activity and movement between cities in the UAE. This will be done through conducting studies on travel patterns between emirates, such as trip length and distances, as well as analysing travel hot spots between cities in the UAE, including bus and metro stations, and the distribution of trips from these transportation hubs. Through this collaboration, Etihad Rail and Uber aim to enhance integrated passenger transportation in the UAE.

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Etihad Rail and Uber will also work together and explore opportunities to integrate e-hailing services and assess the possibility of creating an Uber dedicated pick-up and drop-off area for passengers within stations.

Uber’s Frans Hiemstra said: “Public transit is the backbone of any city and is indispensable for moving more people around efficiently, preventing congestion, and limiting pollution. But, the way people use public transport is changing, and technology has a big role to play in that to help us solve complex transport challenges.”

Etihad Rail’s Nicolas Petrovic added: “Our goal is to improve the living standards and welfare of the residents and facilitate commuting among all areas of the country quickly, efficiently, comfortably, and affordably. We look forward to working closely with Uber and hope to benefit from their expertise in global transportation through technology.”

Upon completion, Etihad Rail’s passenger rail will link 11 cities and regions within the UAE, extending from Al Sila to Fujairah. The passenger trains will travel at a speed of 200 kmph, reducing time spent traveling between emirates, allowing for quick and seamless trips. Passengers will be able to travel from Abu Dhabi to Dubai in 50 minutes, Dubai to Fujairah in 50 minutes, and Abu Dhabi to Fujairah in just 100 minutes.