Today, we are going to review a newly launched, exciting service in Dubai. The Careem Bike Service.
You might already be familiar with Careem who are a pioneer in Car Booking and sharing service, like Uber. Actually, it’s now a part of Uber. Recently they entered into micro-mobility space, with the acquisition of the UAE based company, Cyacle which is now rebranded as Careem Bike.
Watch this awesome video for complete details on Careem Bike:
So what is Careem bike service?It’s a, bike sharing service. It works out of an automated Docking station and mobile app. The apps are available both on iOS and Android. Simply saying, it lets you rent a bike; use it for your journey; once done, drop it off at the Bike station. It solves your, first and last mile, journey problem; which is challenging for public transportation in the UAE, especially during summers. Say, you have to walk a kilometer to your nearest bus station from home or work. This would make using public transport difficult. Careem bike is solving this issue.
So how do we start?Download the Careem BIKE app from the App Store or Google Play Store. Login with your Careem account details. If you don’t have it already, create one. Add your payment options. Next, you need to choose a, membership plan. More about the available plans are explained in the coming sections.
Open the app and locate the Careem Bike Docking station of your convenience.The strip of bikes and it’s docks is the Careem Bike station. All stations are solar powered. Bikes are unlocked by scanning the QR code or entering a 5-digit code on the keypad on the dock. Once done, a green light appears on the dock and unlocks the bike. Remove the bike from the dock by lifting the seat or pulling backwards on the handlebars.
After the ride, return the bike to any station with a vacant dock. Docking stations can be located through the app. Match the triangle, on the front of the bike, with the dock and insert the bike firmly into the dock. A yellow light followed by a green light appears on the dock with a buzzer sound indicating the bike has been locked correctly. Now your trip has ended.If no light appears, or if a red light appears, the bike is not locked into the dock, remove the bike from the dock and re-insert.
It was an awesome experience. Super sturdy and comfortable bike. I just loved riding it. They were so easy to ride, because, these are no regular bikes. All Careem bikes are pedal-assisted through electric motors. Start pedaling, and an internal motor kicks in, which ease your pedaling. Cool right? They also have 3 gears of pedaling speed, which makes the ride, fun and easy in all terrain and slopes.
You need to be at least 15 years of age to rent the bike. The bike is designed to suit riders of all heights and sizes. Height of the seat can be adjusted using an easy to operate lever. It has height levels marked by numbers, which makes it easy to remember the next time you take a bike. It has several reflectors and self-powered LED lights for safety. The bikes also have, Live GPS Tracking.
Now, About Membership plans.You need a membership plan to use the bike. There are four membership options, to choose from:
- 1 Year plan for 420 Dirhams (1 Dirham 15 fils a day)
- 1 Month plan at AED 75 (2.5 Dirhams a day)
- 1 Week plan at AED 50 (7 Dirhams a day)
- Daily plan AED 20 per day.)
I think we need a bit more explanation about the plans. A one-year plan doesn’t mean you can take a bike and keep it for yourself for the next one year. You can keep a Careem bike at a stretch, only for maximum of 45 minutes. Within 45 minutes you have to return the bike to the dock. Then you can unlock the bike again, for another 45 minutes session. You can take as many 45-minute trips as you like, while your membership is active. Now what happens if you fail to return the bike within 45 minutes. You will be charged 10 dirhams, for every, additional 30 minutes. You can refer to the app for the current session timing. The trip starts, as soon as you unlock the bike from the dock and ends only when the bike is docked back at the station.By now, you would already have understood, why this 45 minutes limit. Because it’s a bike share service. Having a 45 minutes time limit ensures the bike is not kept unused and unavailable. Say, you ride 15 minutes and reach a destination. You have a halt of 1 hour before moving from there. If there was no time limit we tend to keep the bike to ourselves, to continue the journey after an hour. But here, you make the bike available, for other riders during this 1 hour. Sharing is Caring right?
Now you have all the basic information to get started with the bike.Still, you might have more questions, like what happens if the bike fails, or, the station to return bike is full etc. We had the same questions as well.Luckily, we could get in touch with the Careem team and clarified all the questions. We would like to share it, with you as well.
So what happens if you unfortunately damage the bike, or you lose it, when it’s under your possession?Don’t panic, there is a solution for everything. But in such situations, Careem will charge you for the damage, to a maximum of 5000 dirhams. Not a cheap bike, ha. In case of a stolen bike, first inform the Police (at 999) of the situation and await further instructions. Open a case with the police and reach out to Careem Customer Service with the case ID ASAP.
Another situation. You unlocked a bike, maybe you moved a bit from the docking station and only then you noticed there is a problem with the bike, say, flat tire or a broken pedal. What you should do is, return the bike to the closest dock and press the red button with a wrench icon. A red light appears on the dock, so no other rider, can use it, until it is fixed by a technician. And what if, the damage is such that you are unable to move the bike; then reach out to Customer Service through +97144405263 (timings 8 AM – 11 PM). In case, if you are not able to reach them because its past the service hours, then you are obligated to keep the bike in your safe possession and share complete details of the situation through the Contact Us tab.
Another situation. What if all the docks at the returning station is full?What Careem Bike team, had suggested was, to try to find another station with free docks. If that’s not available, contact their Customer Service through +97144405263. In any case, do not leave the bike unattended and unsecured.
Another doubt we had was, if the bike can be taken inside the metro. The answer we got was a no. Careem Bike is not supposed to be taken inside a metro. You will have to dock it before entering the metro and take another bike while getting outside the destination metro; if its available there.
God forbid, in case you get unfortunate and meet with an accident. What should you do?Here you have to follow the Local Rules. Call the police at 999 and report the accident. If situations require, you can call the ambulance at 998. Further, report the case to Careem Bike Customer Service.Always, take care of your safety and others. Wear a helmet and reflective vest, especially if you pass by busy roads. Try to stick to dedicated Bike lanes as much as possible. But, we didn’t have a helmet and reflective vest. Ideally, we should have. Next time for sure.
Currently, the service is available only at selected locations. Current, operational zones include: Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Al Barsha, The Greens, Internet City, Media City, Palm Jumeirah, Deira, Downtown Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai Canal, Karama, Mankhool and Al Qudra.
Currently, there are 780 bikes at 78 different locations. That’s mostly near metro stations and tourist spots.Careem plans to extend this to 1750 bikes and 175 stations in the next 2 years. And 3500 bikes and 350 stations in the next 5 years.