Careem has joined hands with Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) to introduce Hala, a joint venture which enables customers to use Careem’s mobile application to order taxis, aiming to reduce the waiting time for users and improve the quality of service.
According to officials, this venture started as a trial with 2,000 of Dubai’s taxis operating through the application. Initially, half of RTA’s taxis will be available to book through Careem by mid-September, however RTA hopes to integrate all of its 10,000 taxis by the start of 2020.
Ahmed Hashim Bahrozyan, Chief Executive of public transport agency at RTA said “This initiative will boost the taxi sector in Dubai in terms of easy access to vehicles through e-hailing, which helps the authority to achieve integration between various means of transport.”
This integration is expected to reduce the estimated time of arrival to less than 5 minutes, a considerable jump compared to the previous waiting time of 12 to 14 minutes. The Hala initiative not only saves time for the customers, but also increases the efficiency of the taxi drivers.
The taxi fees will remain the same with the base fare starting from Dh8 at regular hours, Dh9 for night hours and Dh12 for peak hours. There will be cancellation fee of Dh12 if the customer has booked the taxi but failed to show up or cancelled the ride. These charges will be applied if the ride is cancelled 3 minutes after having booked the taxi.
The ordering process would be similar to ordering a regular Careem ride. Through the Careem app, customers can press on the “Hala” icon and enter the details of their trip. They will then be able to view the estimated waiting time and the cost of the ride before ordering the taxi.
Speaking about the benefits of this joint venture for users and drivers, co-founder and CEO of Careem, Mudassir Sheikha said “It also means less downtime for the captains (drivers) who can optimize their time on the road through customer proximity matching and real-time alerts of geographical areas experiencing high demand.”
This initiative is a positive step in the right direction to improve customer interactions with drivers and the general experience of using taxis.