Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and transportation network company Careem officially launched Hala, an e-hailing service on Thursday.
Close to 50 per cent of RTA's taxi fleet, which approximates to 5,500 taxis will be bookable through Careem's smartphone application starting mid-September. The changes will eventually be implemented on all seven RTA taxi franchises, which includes a total fleet of close to 10,000 taxis.
Since the launch of the pilot phase of the project in May, RTA and Careem say that they have been able to successfully cut down the estimated time of arrival of a taxi to 3.5 minutes.
Ahmed Bahrozyan, chief executive officer of the RTA told Khaleej Times, "The waiting time for ride hailing using the RTA call centre is approximately 10 minutes. With Hala, we have been able to bring down the ETA to under five minutes."
As far as the Hala service is concerned, it offers the same price per kilometre as street hailed taxis. Base fares start at Dh8 during regular hours to Dh12 during peak hours. There is no multiplier surge involved. However, if the driver is made to wait more than three minutes, a cancellation fee of Dh12 will be charged.