Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), has launched the smart app ‘Sharekni’ enabling groups of riders to share vehicles travelling from, and to, their workplaces.
Through this app, individuals can register details of the car-sharing process where relevant permits can be issued electronically.
The app is currently available in Arabic and English, but will soon be available in Chinese, Tagalog and Urdu languages.
"Launching Sharekni app is part of endeavours to materialise the initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world and make people happier.
“It is also a response to the directives of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council, who is overseeing the implementation of the initiative," said Al Tayer.
"Through this service, the RTA is seeking to ease snarls in Dubai, especially during peak times, reduce the number of Single Occupancy Vehicles (SOVs), and slash the overall number of vehicles on streets.
"Such a practice will cut the number of kilometres travelled and accordingly the costs of operating vehicles, streamline the use of car parks around workplaces and alleviate the lack of parking slots, and lower pollution and fuel consumption rates associated with the high traffic volumes.
“Benefits of the practice also include easing the psychological and physical pressures associated with driving in congested roads; which in turn will contribute to raising productivity, and cementing the links between community members through the socialisation of carpoolers," said Al Tayer.
He stated that the service had witnessed a steady growth in the number of registered users to as much as 16 per cent in 2014.
He anticipated that the service would leapfrog in the near future given the special rewards and incentives offered by the RTA for users.
Global benchmarking studies of carpooling systems indicate that the number of users usually range from 5-15 per cent of the total number of road users.
However, this rate goes to as high as 30 per cent in places where rewards and incentives are in place.
The service portal (www.sharekni.ae) has been upgraded, and the smart app has been carefully designed to make it friendly to all community segments.
For instance the newer version simplifies the registration process, enables communication with customers through text messages and e-mails, and allows all holders of driving licenses issued from various emirates of the UAE to sign-in, whereas the previous version was restricted to holders of driving licenses issued from Dubai only.
The new website enables surfers to search for vehicles using a number of variables to fine-tune the search and assist potential riders to achieve their targets.
The added features include saving search results for possible future use which saves users’ time, displaying riders and drivers in a map, providing a control panel enabling users to update and display journey and personal details, and offering users the option of normal search or search through maps.
“The app provides details about the vehicle, a specific route, best-rated driver, and the most frequent routes," added the Chairman of the RTA.