The Road and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai, UAE, plans to develop more than 35 mega projects, including the extension of the Red Line of the Dubai Metro, upgradation of roads and expansion of bus and tram networks in the run up to Expo 2020, said a top official.
Mattar Al Tayer, the chairman of the board and executive director of the RTA, said:
“Over and above the continued development of roads and transportation systems, the RTA is focusing on improving the efficiency of public transport system, and broadening the electronic service offering as well as smart phone applications.”
He was speaking at the Rail Leaders’ Summit held on the sidelines of the International Trade Fair for Transport Technology (InnoTrans 2014) in Berlin, Germany, which has attracted more than 2,700 companies from 51 countries across the globe. The RTA has set up a major stand showcasing mass transit systems in Dubai, and depicting the growth seen by the public transport sector in the emirate.
RTA’s stand also exhibits smart applications offering a variety of services enabling customers to access 53 services via their smart phones. Addressing the gathering, Al Tayer said:
“The RTA will design and undertake transportation projects necessary for Expo 2020 including the extension of the Red Line of the Dubai Metro, upgrading roads and junctions surrounding and leading to Expo site, and sourcing 39 additional trains up to 2020 in order to improve passenger services.”
“We also plan to expand the bus network to cover 16 new districts, besides improving the service in 19 districts by 2020.”
He pointed out that the Dubai government had spent about Dh 73 billion (US$ 19.8 billion) to upgrade the city’s transportation infrastructure since 2005. Al Tayer stated:
“The RTA has constructed the 75 kilometer-long Dubai Metro comprising 47 stations, considered the longest driver-less metro line worldwide. It also widened the roads network from 8,715-kilometer lane in 2005 to 12,545-kilometer lane in 2013, thus registering a 45 per cent increase.”
Besides this, the RTA also procured a modern fleet of public buses and revamped the marine transit means, he added. Accordingly, the number of mass transit users soared from 112 million riders in 2005 to 446 million riders in 2013 i.e. a 300 per cent increase, thus the share of public transport means in the people’s mobility increased from six per cent in 2006 to 13 per cent by the end of 2013.
On its future plans, Al Tayer said the RTA will start the operation of the initial phase of the Dubai Tram project on November 11. He explained:
“It is the first tram project outside Europe powered by ground electric cables. The tramway, which extends about 10 km and covers 11 stations, intersects with two of the Dubai Metro Stations in a bid to enhance the integration of mass transit modes.”
The RTA chief said the tram was likely to lift about 27,000 riders per day in 2014, and the ridership is anticipated to grow to as much as 66,000 riders per day by 2020. He added:
“The second and third phase of the Tram project is currently under study.”