In the Year Of Sustainability, UAE Leads The Way In On-Demand Public Transportation In The Middle East
As the UAE prepares to host COP 28 later this year, smart mobility solutions, such as on-demand public transportation, spearhead the nation’s ambitions for a decarbonised future. Leading transport services provider United Trans, a subsidiary of Alserkal Group, is transforming regional transportation with its revolutionary on-demand bus service in partnership with local authorities such as Dubai RTA, Abu Dhabi ITC, and Ajman Transport Authority.
The UAE’s transport sector is dominated by personal car use, and passenger vehicles are responsible for approximately 15 per cent of the UAE’s carbon emissions. According to a study by Boston Consulting Group, on-demand public transportation could help cities reduce traffic by 15% to 30%. Efficiently matching multiple passengers into a single vehicle provides a solid alternative to private vehicle use. Shifting passengers away from personal cars and back to public transit decreases congestion and reduces pollution and climate-damaging carbon emissions while enhancing social and economic mobility. People can have better first-mile and last-mile connectivity to opportunities, healthcare, and education, spurring economic growth and improving quality of life.
United Trans and Via, the leading transport service provider and public mobility solutions developer, were the first to successfully introduce bus on-demand ride-sharing service in the region, thanks to a contract with RTA. Dubai Bus on Demand has received high ratings and has become essential to Dubai’s public transportation infrastructure. The service has achieved one million rides since its launch in early 2020. United Trans and Via are focused on further expansions of on-demand transportation for the region’s public and private sectors.
Ahmad Alserkal, Chairman of Alserkal Group, United Trans, said, “In 2023, the UAE Year of Sustainability, we look forward to expanding access to on-demand ride-sharing services operated by United Trans. On-demand public transit can be a powerful force for good in achieving the region’s ambitions for a greener future, greater social and economic mobility, and smart cities. United Trans is committed to strengthening regional public transport networks by leveraging the latest and greatest technology to serve our communities”.
Dillon Twombly, Via’s Chief Revenue Officer, added, “The success of on-demand public transportation in the UAE is a testament to the power of technology to improve access to efficient, equitable, and sustainable transportation solutions. We look forward to the future of our partnership with RTA and United Trans as we continue to introduce new and innovative approaches to transportation and, together, set a strong example for what is possible for communities across the Middle East.”
The technology from Via used by United Trans to power Dubai Bus on Demand can help other local authorities and organisations best meet customers’ and employee demands and provide a high quality of service and user experience. Public-private partnerships increase ridership, reduce operational costs, and improve customer satisfaction. Dubai Bus on Demand, for instance, has solved the city’s first- and last-mile challenge of getting residents to existing transportation infrastructure in a comfortable, flexible, and affordable manner. From students and office workers to families and tourists, the transport needs of a large population are being served, proven by over 1 million trips taken since launch in 2020, out of which more than 400k were completed last year alone.
In partnership with Ajman Transport Authority, United Trans and Via, they have also launched an on-demand public transportation service in Ajman. The service has quickly gained popularity, and demand is expected to rise even further in the Emirate of Ajman. In the 12th edition of the Dubai Award for Sustainable Transport 2021 (DAST), the Transport Authority Government of Ajman won first place for their Bus On Demand Service in the Mobility Management category.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) of Abu Dhabi launched a new on-demand emergency transportation system in Abu Dhabi in partnership with United Trans and Via to provide free rides for medical workers. The Abu Dhabi Healthcare Link app, powered by Via and Abu Dhabi’s Integrated Transport Center (ITC) software, gave healthcare workers a safe and reliable means of transport during a public health crisis. Buoyed by these successful initiatives, ITC rebranded the on-demand application as ‘Abu Dhabi Link’ and expanded the public service across many Abu Dhabi zones.
GCC countries are developing well-organised ecosystems to build a sustainable future with innovative solutions that ensure the best experience for residents and visitors. United Trans and Via plan to expand their presence to offer smart transportation solutions.