Recognizing the need to increase the share of public transport use, reduce the motorization level and transport-related emission and fatalities, Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) in 2016 set out to deploy an integrated mobility platform, with the objective to facilitate people’s access to all transport modes available in the city.
This endeavor resulted in the deployment of Dubai Integrated Mobility Platform (DIMP) and of the S’hail mobility app. This integrated mobility platform is a first of its kind approach to Mobility as a Service in the Middle East, combining all available, public and private, transport modes into one single app.
S’hail integrates RTA’s own services with 3rd-party transport services to provide travelers with a one-stop mobility solution, covering all modes of transport in the Emirate, including bus, tram, metro, ferry, taxi, limos, car-sharing and ride-hailing. DIMP offers travelers a secure registration process, an intermodal, door-to-door trip planner for effective and reliable planning with real-time information for transit, traffic, and toll-gate fares, and a seamless booking and registration process, unifying access to services previously provided by 12 apps. RTA is both a provider of public transportation services and the owner of the S’hail app and platform.
The technical solution is provided by ERTICO Partner Siemens and HaCon.
“RTA Dubai’s integrated mobility platform S’hail is a first of its kind approach to Mobility as a Service
in the Middle East”
– Dr Filippo Logi, Siemens Mobility
As nearly 50% of Dubai’s population does not own a car, public transportation and taxi services in Dubai serve over 550 million trips every year. All existing transportation services in the Dubai area are integrated in RTA’s solution. These currently include all RTA’s own transit services such as bus, metro, tram and ferry, RTA taxi services, ride-hailing providers such as Uber and Careem, and the local car-sharing services Udrive and ekar. The S’hail app allows to check availability and location for all these services and to book them, either through a fully integrated service or through a deep link to a 3rd party app (for Uber and Careem).
RTA has created a unified, all-in-one platform offering transactional and informational services for all modes of transport. Services include the provision of multimodal information to seamlessly plan the journey based on traveler preferences. Accurate and real-time information are integrated across public and private transport ensuring easy connectivity.
Booking services for taxis, limo, car-sharing and ride-hailing, and the possibility to top-up the SALIK smart card for use on toll roads and bridges complete S’hail’s range of offerings.
The platform consists of a backend layer for the integration and management of mobility services and front-end mobile applications for Android and iOS, white-labeled to RTA’s specific requirements. The backend-layer comes from the realization that a central data and integration platform is essential for complex data exchanges to take place among the many heterogeneous players.
Results to Date
S’hail is a success story in many ways. Since it went live in October 2017, S’hail has been used to plan more than one million trips and to book over 25 thousand taxi rides. The app was downloaded 250 thousand times from App stores and it continues to have an average rating of 4.1/5. This positive rating is reflected across various customer experience indicators, which resulted from analyses conducted by RTA prior to, during, and after the launch of S’hail with multiple segments of users from different groups and nationalities. Users were asked to rate several indicators of the level of service offered by RTA, in terms of mobility and information services, and the most relevant results are listed below.
|Metric||Results to Date|
|Trips planned||Over 1 million|
|Downloads of the app||250.000 times
(around 8% of Dubai population)
|Customer satisfaction with RTA services
(info and transport services)
|89% (+6% Oct 17 – June 19)|
|Accessibility of the services||86% (+6%)|
|Quality of service information||89% (+3%)|
|Ease of use||83% (+3%)|
|Level of trust||93% (+4%)|
|Journey planning time||30 seconds (-92% compared to previous trip planning methods)|
Benefits to Society
One of RTA’s objectives when commissioning the development of S’hail’s was to contribute to Dubai Government’s happiness agenda, to “take a leading role in achieving the happiness of people, acting in conformity with customers, and boosting happiness & positive work energy”.
As a state-owned transportation agency, RTA’s main objectives are to be measured in how well they serve their customers – Dubai’s residents and visitors. The numbers above clearly demonstrate S’hail’s contribution. However, RTA benefits also from direct participation in all sales generated by external parties over the platform. For private-sector mobility providers S’hail offers an additional sales channel for mobility services.
Interestingly, through its large number of users and performed trips, S’hail is able to capture Big Data on traveler behaviour which is then used by RTA to optimize their services. Several initiatives have already been conducted by RTA, originating from the analysis of data received by S’hail. RTA has introduced new bus routes and stops, and adjusted metro and tram schedules based on demand. Heat maps fed with trip planner data have enabled RTA to allocate vehicles to those locations where they are most needed.
Finally, concerning the benefits to environment, S’hail indirectly and certainly only partially, contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions by helping people increasingly use public transport when planning their travel. Studies suggest that overall CO2 emissions were reduced by 21 million kg in 2018 compared to the previous year.
Dr Filippo Logi
Disclaimer: This article is part of the “MaaS of the Month” series of the MaaS Alliance. It has been originally published here.