Dubai: Following the government’s decision to deregulate fuel prices, residents in the country say carpooling is the way to go.
Starting August 1, petrol prices are expected to increase after a new pricing policy linked to global prices will be adopted.
One of the objectives of this decision is to lower fuel consumption by encouraging residents to take alternative public transportation to protect the environment.
Apart from different modes of public transport, some residents say carpooling is an easier and more direct alternative.
Frank Gomez, who works in Media City and lives in Rashidiya, said he is going to carpool if petrol prices increase.
“I used to carpool when I lived in International City. I used to take three friends with me and each would pay me Dh200 per month. I would use that money to pay for the petrol, which cost me around Dh150 per week,” said Gomez.
Gomez said he prefers carpooling over public transport because taking a bus and then a Metro that stops at a number of locations before reaching his workplace is time-consuming.
Construction inspector John Galindo, 36, also said he is most likely going to try to find a friend to carpool with if the prices increase after the implementation of the decision.
“I pay Dh100 per day on petrol because I travel around 200 kilometres daily from Sharjah to my construction site in Abu Dhabi. I was unpleasantly surprised with the decision to deregulate the fuel prices. I already pay around Dh2,500 a month just for fuel,” said Galindo.
When asked why he won’t use other modes of public transportation, he said: “In my area it is difficult. Only two buses travel from my area to Abu Dhabi and their timings are difficult,” he said.
Joy. B, 35, already travels from Al Karama to her work in Jebel Ali using a carpooling service.
“I don’t take public transportation because carpooling is more convenient for me. It takes me directly to my workplace entrance, while the Metro does not,” said Joy who pays Dh300 a month.
Jordanian Mais Kanaan, 23, on the other hand said she would not carpool with anyone, especially me, n because it is culturally unacceptable.
“It is just weird to go in a car with a stranger. It is a bit more acceptable if it is a friend. But even then it is not very common in my culture because then the perception is that you are stingy,” she said.
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) requires all individuals involved in carpooling to register by visiting www.sharekni.ae or the Sharekni app. The RTA upgraded the website and introduced a smart app ‘Sharekni’ this year to make the registration process easier.
An RTA official said earlier that the “illegal passenger transfer” violation carries a fine of Dh4,000. The fine is increased to Dh5,000 if not paid within 15 days.