Carpooling joins the capital's wider plan to reduce traffic congestion
13 October 2019| Last updated on 13 October 2019
The new system is similar to popular car-hailing platforms Uber and Careem
In an effort to reduce the amount of traffic on the roads, the Abu Dhabi Department of Transport has incorporated carpooling into their plans.
The newly launched online system enables drivers to sign up and offer lifts to strangers, colleagues, and friends without charging them. The system relies on the offers of good Samaritans in the capital who are keen to help the environment.
In a similar fashion to Uber and Careem, the platform allows Abu Dhabi residents to either look for rides or offer them, with a rating system in place.
According to the Department of Transport, charging passengers for rides is illegal, however sharing the cost of fuel, toll gate charges, and other travel expenses are allowed. So while earning profit from the system is not allowed, it allows motorists and commuters to reduce their daily travel expenses.
Previously, carpooling in Abu Dhabi was illegal as the capital was driving to discourage illegal, private taxis. The emirate has lifted the ban for the purpose of helping residents cut down on the stress caused by everyday travel costs, the number of cars on the roads, and carbon emissions.
Users are notified with alerts when they are offered a lift by a driver.
The Department of Transport stated: "Are you a driver with empty seats in your car? Is driving alone tedious? Do you want to be more sustainable? Would you like to offer a ride to someone travelling in the same direction? Introduce meeting points of your journey into carpooling and they will be displayed on an interactive map easy to find for other users."
Drivers and passengers can set up language preferences on top of choosing smoking and non-smoking drivers, and whether pets are allowed in the cars.
"If the car owner requests a payment from you, please report it through this carpooling website, and provide details of what happened for us to take the right action," the website says.
How does it work?
1. Visit the website
Visit the website here: http://www.darb.ae/carpooling and sign up as a driver or passenger.
2. Contact each other
Driver and passenger/s contact each other before the journey and agree on meeting points and drop-off points.
The confidentiality of both parties is protected through the internal messaging system.
Once the journey has been set up, real-life meetings are reliable and comfortable because both parties know exactly what to expect.
3. Create groups
The new service will also allow users to create their own groups. The private groups will allow the moderator to invite new members and passengers who they have previously offered a lift to.