Careem partners with RTA to launch bicycle-sharing service in Dubai
Earlier this year, Careem acquired the Abu Dhabi-based bicycle-sharing startup Cyacle in an undisclosed deal. Now, it has signed a contract with the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to launch its bicycle-sharing startup in the emirate.
3,500 bicycles and 350 docking stations will be launched for public use in phases throughout the 15 year contract. The first two years will see 1,750 bikes become available for use with 175 docking stations across the emirate. In the five years following that, the number of bicycles will increase to 3,500 and docking stations will reach 350.
Cyacle was Careem’s first move into micro-mobility. The home-grown transport giant was also in talks to launch e-scooter services in Abu Dhabi after Circ got the permission to operate in a restricted area.
The venture into micro-mobility allows Careem to further deepen its market share, giving people more options to move at more competitive rates, while also skipping the traffic in peak hours.
RTA has constructed over 274 kilometres of cycling tracks in the city of Dubai, and has plans to increase this to 631.7 kilometres by 2023.
The challenge with micro-mobility, and the reason why it hasn’t taken off in the UAE so far, majorly comes down to the summer weather conditions. Careem, at this stage of its growth cycle, arguably could have the fiscal power to withstand downtime for its bicycle-sharing venture.
Moreover, it will give people the option to choose a sustainable mode of transport as well as the activity without investment.
Careem’s bike-sharing service will initially cover hotspots such as Dubai Marina, Dubai media city, Jumeirah, Dubai Water Canal, Diera, Al Qudra, Al Khawaneej, Al Qusais, Al Mankhoul, Al Karama, and Al Barsha— areas that already have well formed bike paths, or safe roads to ride bicycles.
“Over the past years, RTA has constructed cycling tracks extending 274km in several places like Saih Assalam, Bab Ashams, Al Qudra, Mushrif, Mirdif, Al Khawaneej, and Dubai Water Canal, as well as several streets such as Jumeirah, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Al Mankhool Streets. The total length of cycling tracks in Dubai is expected to reach about 631.7km by 2023.”H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA
Mudassir Shaikha, Co-founder and CEO of Careem, commented, “Careem Bike offers mobility means to riders of buses, metro and tram in Dubai covering the first and last mile. Moreover, biking is a healthy practice that eases the congestion in the city and promotes healthy lifestyles. We are thrilled to roll out the first product for micro mobility in Dubai with our trusted transit partner, RTA.
He added, “We will work with PBSC Urban Solutions to provide solar-powered docking stations fitted with WiFi service.” PBSC Urban Solutions is an international firm that has catered to clients in London, Barcelona and New York
The bikes will be fitted with GPS tracking and will have a speed limit of 40 km/h. Customers can use the service through the Careem Bike app. The launch date of the app or the bikes themselves, nor their prices have been revealed as yet. We’ve reached out to Careem for more details and will update the story when we hear back.