Dubai RTA announces launch of e-scooters in 10 city districts
With at least 2,000 e-scooters to be available for riders to use on permitted cycling tracks in 10 of the city’s districts, RTA has outlined a set of rules and regulations to ensure the safety of both pedestrians and riders.
Credit: Dubai Roads and Transport Authority
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and the General HQ of Dubai Police have announced the start of operation of e-scooters on permitted cycling tracks in 10 districts across Dubai, starting from 13 April 2022.
The step is taken in line with Resolution Number 13 for 2022, endorsed by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Executive Council regulating the use of scooters in Dubai. It supports the efforts to make Dubai a bike-friendly city and culminates the huge success of the e-scooter trial operation that started in October 2020.
As part of the initial phase, the e-scooter launch will cover the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai Internet City, Al Rigga, 2nd of December Street, The Palm Jumeirah and City Walk. It will also cover safe roads and tracks within specific zones at Al Qusais, Al Mankhool and Al Karama, in addition to 167km long tracks designated for bikes and scooters across Dubai, excluding the cycling tracks at Saih Assalam, Al Qudra and Meydan.
His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Dubai’s RTA, said: “The selection of these districts was guided by specific criteria, such as high population density, special development areas, areas served by public transport and metro stations, the availability of integrated infrastructure and areas with a high level of traffic safety.”
Following success in the trial phase, having achieved customer satisfaction ratings as high as 82 per cent, the e-scooters across the 10 districts will be operated by international companies TIER Mobility and Lime, and local companies Arnab and Skurtt. The results of the trial operation proved the suitability of e-scooters as individual mobility means for short journeys, as well as for first- and last-mile journeys. The companies will deploy at least 2,000 e-scooters across the designated areas.
His Excellency Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, said: “Dubai Police is keen to ensure the compliance of road users with the applicable rules in line with the policy aimed to make Dubai the ideal place for living and doing business, the favourite and safest destination of visitors, and the city with the least carbon footprint worldwide.”
According to Resolution Number 13 for 2022, e-scooters and e-bikes must have a white headlight, red and reflective light on the rear, horn fixed on the steering arm, brakes on the front and back tyres, tyre size must be proportional to the size of the scooter, roadworthy tyres for the tracks specified by RTA, and the size of the scooter must be proportional to the size of its rider. In this regard, RTA calls on the public to select high-quality e-scooters to avoid battery burn accidents and frequent technical malfunctions.
In addition, riders are required to wear reflective vests and helmets, avoid carrying riders on bikes and e-bikes unless the bikes have separate seats for them, avoid pillion riders or anything that causes an imbalance of the e-scooter, and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles and pedestrians. Riders below 16 years will not be permitted to ride an e-bike or e-scooter, as a driving permit will be essential to ride e-scooters.
RTA will also launch an awareness campaign to educate scooter riders about the regulations and designated locations for use, as well as the importance of obtaining a driving permit for e-scooters through RTA’s online platform. Obtaining this permit shall be a pre-requisite for permitting the riding of scooters on safe roads in the announced areas. However, holders of vehicle driving licenses, international driving licenses or motorcycle driving licenses are not required to obtain such a permit.
In order to encourage residents and visitors to use e-scooters on first- and last-mile trips, parking spaces have also been provided by RTA along the designated tracks and permitted areas – mainly in key tourist attractions, and around public transport stations.
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United Arab Emirates