E-scooters to be introduced in 10 districts of Dubai in 2022

His Excellency Mattar Mohammed Al Thayer, CEO and Chairman of the Board of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), has announced the start of construction work on electric scooter infrastructure in preparation for the launch of the first phase of the project, which will cover ten areas in Dubai and be operational in the first quarter of 2022.

This move comes in response to the Executive Council’s endorsement of the Shared Mobility Plan and the Electric Scooter Policy, which supports this plan. This is the culmination of a highly successful trial period of e-scooters that began in October 2020 in five key areas of Dubai. By the end of September, around half a million e-scooter rides had been completed. Going forward, the RTA plans to expand e-scooter use and routes to certain residential areas as well as 23 new areas.

“The first phase includes Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai Internet City, Al Rigga, December 2 Street (defined route and zone), The Palm Jumeirah and City Walk. Safe streets in Al Qusais, Al Manhul and Al Karama areas were also covered, as well as bicycle lanes, with the exception of bicycle lanes in Seikh Al Salaam, Al Qudra and Meydan,” Al Tayer said.

“Certain criteria were taken into account when selecting these areas, such as high population density, special development areas, areas with metro and commuter rail stations, availability of comprehensive infrastructure and areas with high road safety.”

“The operation of an e-scooter is part of the Dubai government’s efforts to improve the quality of life and satisfaction of residents, to switch to environmentally friendly modes of transport and to make Dubai a preferred place to live and work, as well as the preferred and safest place for visitors. The RTA calls for a healthy and active lifestyle by creating an integrated and efficient transport network in the emirate. It also aims to provide users with multiple transport options that are in line with international best practices, making Dubai one of the leading countries in this field,” Al Thayer said.

“The trial operation of the Escutator has proven to be successful as it is a suitable vehicle for individual short trips and first and last mile journeys. Customer satisfaction with the experiment is 82%. The RTA, in consultation with Dubai Police, has studied several international models and the experience of other major cities in operating e-scooters to select the most suitable model for Dubai,” said Al Thayer.

“The RTA has also conducted many comparative studies on the operation of e-scooters with various international cities such as London, Paris, New York, Berlin and Singapore. We have identified the key elements for streamlining the performance of shared and personalised e-scooters. These studies were based on four main aspects: the user, the electric scooter, the road and the business model with operating companies,” he explained.

The RTA urged the public not to use electric scooters on routes still under construction to avoid accidents. Work on infrastructure for electric scooters in the new areas is progressing on schedule. Work to install road and information signs for electric scooters that meet the best international specifications and road safety standards is almost complete.

In recent months, RTA has conducted technical studies and user surveys to gather feedback from service users and their comments on how to improve the project. Meetings were held with Dubai Police and the operating companies at regular intervals. Site visits were conducted to check the works at the new sites and ensure that they are ready before they are opened to e-scooter users.

Safety regulations

E-scooter operation is permitted under strict rules and in designated lanes. The rider and the hirer must abide by the rules and regulations set by the RTA, which are in accordance with the Road Traffic Act. They regulate the use of e-scooters and the associated road safety rules, such as the wearing of a safety helmet. The e-scooter must be parked in designated areas and must not be parked in areas that cause traffic obstructions. Riders must ride carefully and not endanger other road users. They must comply with all instructions and regulations applicable to the areas where riding electric scooters is permitted, as indicated in the annexes for operators.

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