The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai launched the trial phase of e-scooters in five areas on Monday. The pay-as-you-use e-scooters are being trialled in five zones: Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Dubai Internet City, 2nd of December St, Al Rigga and Jumeirah Lake Towers.
Khaleej Times visited some of the areas where the rental facilities were set up. Residents and tourists were spotted examining the scooters and testing them out. Small pouches with plastic hand gloves were attached to the handlebars of the bikes.
Noufal KM, a resident of Deira, said: “I work in Bur Juman and live in Deira. I use the Dubai Metro to travel to work every day. I have never used an e-scooter before, but it is something I would definitely use, as my home is one-and-a-half kilometre away from the Metro station. The e-scooter would be handy for this short commute.”
Wilfred Will, another resident of Deira, sought the expansion of the service to the Creek area and near the beaches. “It is good for tourists and leisure riders. For me personally, I would use it for short commutes. I just need to invest in a helmet and a green vest.”
Anass Radi, a Moroccan national, owns an e-scooter himself. “I live down the road from the Metro station in Deira. My house is at the end of Rigga Street. It is very convenient. One charge lasts me a distance of 14km. Since I use my own scooter, I wouldn’t use the RTA ones, unless during an emergency, but I would definitely recommend it for those seeking convenience during a short commute.”
The bikes are available to rent through mobile applications and cost Dh3 to unlock and 50 to 60 fils for every minute thereafter. Riders must be aged 14 and over.
An Arnab representative, who was present on site in Al Rigga, said: “It would take approximately Dh6 for a five-minute ride.” The payment is done via the app, which is linked to the riders’ credit or debit cards.
Similar to ride-hailing applications, users can find an e-scooter closest to them using GPS technology.
Once users have registered and found their e-scooter, they need to tap their devices to a QR Code stuck on the two-wheelers to start their ride. Commuters have to tap out at the end of their journey. Riders will have to park the scooter in the right place to stop the meter on the app. Once parked, the users are prompted to make the payment. Several scooters come with in-built speakers that send out warning messages to those who try to use them without registering or tapping on them.
A step-by-step guide
Step 1: Download the app. Five companies are operating the scooters in Dubai
Step 2: Locate the scooter using the app
Step 3: Scan QR code/Tap and go
Step 4: Park neatly at your destination to stop the meter
Step 5: End ride with a tap More
Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88