The Dubai Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) plans to beef up the number of services offered via smartphones as well as other handheld gadgets from the existing 17 to 72 by 2014, said its chairman.
The drive for migrating from e-Government to m-Government is set to gather pace to further broaden the service outreach in the first half of 2015, added Mattar Al Tayer, chairman of the board and executive director of the RTA.
“The RTA currently provides 17 services compatible with the most common operating systems (iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows) highlighted by services oriented to public transport users such as the booking of taxis, inquiring about the balance of Nol cards, arrival time of buses & Dubai Metro, calculating the fare, inquiring about Nol card balance, displaying the locations of metro stations, bus stops, refueling stations, tourist points, hospitals and medical centers,” said Al Tayer.
“Services targeting road users include the payment of parking fees (mParking), inquiring about traffic offences, online & open auction plates, and the possibility of replacing driver licenses in addition to displaying the locations of RTA customer service centers, and accessing Madinati service enabling customers to file reports and attach images along with the geo-ordinates of the site in question.”
“The RTA has gone through various phases of improving the services rendered via mobile phones and issued the maiden edition of the strategy of delivering services via smart-phones in 2009 including the mParking in paid parking zones to save time and effort of users. In 2010 it launched the first electronic application: RTA Dubai which is compatible with Apple IOS enabling clients access to information about the metro stations, service timing and types of Nol cards,” he explained.
“The RTA continued its drive and in 2011 it released its second application compatible with Apple IOS and Android systems, encompassing six services: taxi booking, calculating metro fare, locations of metro stations and service centers, bus stops and the mParking.
“In the first half of 2012, the RTA released the second edition of mobile services strategy based on the highest international standards, and will release the initial phase of the revamped RTA Application in Gitex 2013 featuring an enhanced configuration & layout, addition of Madinati service and supporting the Apple IOS and Google Android systems.
“This year, the RTA has launched a new version of RTA Application whereby the services are offered through RIM Black Berry system and also offered the service of inquiring after the arrival of buses and the Dubai Metro through text messages,” elaborated Al Tayer.
“Services provided by the RTA through smart phones are set to pick up substantially in the near future with as much as 55 services in the making; including 9 services this year and 46 services as early as next year, to bring the total number of mobile services to 72 services,” he added.
“The RTA will embark on a thorough study of all its service offering comprising 208 services of which 156 services are currently available online in order to analyze them and explore the possibility of providing them via mobile phones whether partially or fully.
“It will also review the best global practices in order to develop creative services that can be offered via smart phones. The selection of services is based on a number of parameters including that the service has to be provided online, and the service has to be procedural, interactive and informational in addition to that the service has to be oriented to individuals and the usage rate has to be high,” Al Tayer said.
This month the RTA will launch the eWallet service offering companies and entities a safe means of payment and an easy-to-use tool for processing transactions related to the Licensing Agency such as the renewal of vehicle registration and payment of traffic fines.