Bus on demand
RTA plans to add and enhance more features based on its existing Bus-on-Demand service Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has signed an agreement with arcab to launch a digital platform on a trial basis in the shape of a smart app to meet the public demand for medium-sized bus services.

The trial platform will be operational in two of Dubai’s districts. The first route will commute between the International City/Dubai Silicon Oasis and Jebel Ali Free Zone. The second route will shuttle between the International City and JLT. Following a three-month trial, the service will expand to include 12 other districts in Dubai.

The agreement was made in collaboration with the Dubai Future Accelerators Programme, one of the initiatives of the Dubai Future Foundation launched by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council in 2016 to set a platform combining government entities, start-ups, and business leaders from all over the world. The initiative aimed to launch innovative projects driven by future technology to power vital sectors.

The agreement was signed by Ahmed Hashem Bahrozyan, CEO of Public Transport Agency, RTA and Bilal Shabandri, Co-Founder and CEO of arcab. The agreement provides for establishing a “highly sophisticated and flexible” digital platform for commuting people smoothly and safely to various destinations across Dubai.

Ahmed Hashem Bahrozyan, CEO of Public Transport Agency, RTA (right) and Bilal Shabandri, Co-Founder and CEO of arcab Image Credit: Supplied

The agreement states that the company shall provide the technology needed for managing micro-mobility networks in a way that saves operational expenses. The platform will play a vital role in generating demand for micro-mobility networks by opening routes for medium-sized buses, thus attracting a new segment of riders. The platform will be flexible to undertake changes in mobility and journeys to match demand patterns.

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Micro-mobility demand

Bahrozyan said: “Joining forces with the private sector will strengthen RTA’s public-private partnership, which RTA always seeks to undertake as a means of enhancing its public service offerings such as transportation on medium-sized buses, especially in districts and localities normally not covered by [larger] buses.”

Shabandri said: “We are pleased to partner with RTA to provide solutions that benefit thousands of passengers, in perfect fit with the excellent public transport system that Dubai has developed over the years.”

In partnership with Dubai Future Accelerators, RTA and arcab will introduce arcab Traveler, a new service in the UAE that will assist people in travelling to and from work and home daily. The service is an extension of the services RTA currently provides, which include smart services, e-hailing, shared transport and Bus-On-Demand.

Saeed Al Falasi, Executive Director of Future Design and Acceleration at Dubai Future Foundation, said: “RTA and arcab’s partnership represents a significant step toward the success of the Dubai Future Accelerators programme. It enables government agencies, involved technology companies, and emerging companies to enhance cooperation, exchange experiences, and adopt the latest innovations and practices, ensuring the highest standard of service while employing advanced modern technology.”