E-scooters banned in Dubai metro and tram stations

Trials of an AI-enhanced robot designed to catch road safety offenders will also start this month

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 26 OCTOBER 2020. E-scooter trials rolled out in five areas across city for a year long project for commuters to rent and use e-scooters while commuting to and from tram and metro stations. SKURTT e-scooters for rent at the Al Sufouh Tram Station in Knowledge Village. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Kelly Clarke. Section: National.
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E-scooters are no longer allowed in Dubai metro or tram stations.

The stricter safety measure was announced by the emirate's Roads and Transport Authority on Thursday and came into effect on Friday.

Using the hashtag "Your safety our priority" the authority's message said: "To ensure your safety and that of others, the use of E-scooters inside #DubaiMetro and #DubaiTram will be prohibited, starting Friday, March 1, 2024."

It was not detailed whether a fine would be administered to anyone breaking the new rule.

Full bicycles are also prohibited, although, according to RTA rules "it is allowed to pull a bike on pedestrian bridges and carry foldable bicycles in the metro".

AI robot

The ban comes a day after the announcement of plans to develop a robot system that can detect when cyclists and other "soft mobility" users break the rules.

Announced at the Mena Transport and Congress Exhibition, the agreement between the RTA and Terminus Group, a robotics and advanced technical systems provider, trials will start this month.

The initial phase of the trial operation will be in the Jumeirah 3 beach area.

"The smart robot will monitor the use of soft mobility means, such as bicycles and electric scooters, by detecting violations, sharing, and analysing them in collaboration with Dubai Police," the RTA said.

RAK Police video warns of e-scooter danger

RAK Police video warns of e-scooter danger

Using AI, the robot will attempt to detect offences such as people not wearing helmets, abandonment of scooters in unauthorised areas, more than one person riding a single scooter and riding in pedestrian-only zones.

"It can identify violations with over 85 per cent accuracy, deliver data within five seconds, and has a surveillance reach of up to two kilometres.

"The robot is also designed to operate efficiently under various weather conditions and is equipped with sensors that trigger a halt when it comes within 1.5 metres of any object or individual, ensuring the safety and security of all road users in Dubai."

Scooter safety

In October of last year, calls for better e-scooter safety were made after a number of deaths were reported in the first eight months of 2023.

UAE road safety experts said better education and tighter regulations were needed to help clamp down on reckless electric scooter riders who put lives at risk by flouting traffic rules.

Dubai Police also raised the alarm over the dangers of the irresponsible use of e-scooters and e-bikes across the emirate, as their popularity continues to rise.

The force said five riders had been killed and another 29 injured in accidents involving either e-scooters or e-bikes between January and the end of August.

Ignoring traffic lights, not wearing helmets and riding outside designated zones were cited as common causes of accidents.

Updated: March 28, 2024, 12:14 PM