H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) revealed that public buses have commuted about 56 million passengers in the first half of this year and it is forecasted that the total number of public bus commuters would hit 119 million passengers by the end of the current year.
Al Tayer also revealed an increase in bus punctuality as high as 62% coupled with a drop of accidents rate to 1 accident per 100 thousand kilometers done. Besides that he announced that the bus depots at Al Khawaneej & Jebel Ali would be opened in August this year.
Al Tayer elaborated: “Results of public bus service operational indicators revealed that in the first half of this year the bus ridership increased to about 56 million passengers lifted in 1.8 million journeys, of whom 44 million passengers used domestic bus routes “urban transport’’ operating over 80 domestic routes covering various districts and towns of the Dubai Emirate. About 7 million passengers used inter-city buses; which operate over 13 routes covering main cities across the UAE Emirates. The number of commuters using metro stations feeder buses amounted to 4.8 million passengers approximately. The monthly number of passengers using urban & feeder bus service during last March, April and May broke the barrier of 8 million passengers; as the number of passengers clocked 8,723,000 in March. In April the number of bus commuters clocked 8,515,000 passengers, whereas the number reached 8,158,000 passengers in May, 7,973,000 passengers in June, 7,784,000 passengers in February and 7,633,000 passengers in J
anuary. Metro stations feeder bus service showed increased ridership with passengers count jumping from 622,000 in January to about one million in May.
“RTA strategy has succeeded in improving the performance of public bus service, increasing bus operational efficiency, and reducing fuel consumption & maintenance costs. Public transport routes have been restructured in 2010 with a view to reducing the number of kilometers done, realizing operational efficiency, redistributing the frequency of the service in urban routes and metro feeder service, and redistributing routes & buses on depots to reduce the wasted mileage. This strategy has contributed to reducing the number of kilometers done from 8,889,000 km last January to 6,600,000 km last June recording a drop of 25.7%. Equally the total number of journeys dropped from 347,172 journeys last January to 246,393 journeys last June, recording a drop of 29%,” commented RTA Chairman of the Board and Executive Director.
Al Tayer further added: “The operational results in the first half of this year revealed that bus punctuality reached 62% and the safety & security indicator showed a drop in the accident rate to 1 accident per 100,000 km; which is attributed to the increased drivers training exposure, and higher traffic safety awareness amid drivers”.
“In August this year, RTA will open the two bus depots at Al Khawaneej and Jebel Ali. Al Khawaneej Depot has a parking yard for 284 buses; comprising 146 standard buses and 138 articulated buses in addition to an electromechanical workshop capable of accommodating 20 buses at a time, a supply line for 13 buses at a time, a cleaning and washing bay for 12 buses at a time and an administrative building for about 40 employees,” he continued.
“Jebel Ali Bus Depot has a capacity to accommodate about 300 buses of the three bus types; standard, articulated and double-deckers. It also has a 24 bay for accommodating 36 buses at a time for cleaning, washing and refueling services. The depot has office buildings to house 50 employees and residential units for about 1200 bus drivers employed at Public Transport Agency,” stated Al Tayer.
RTA Chairman of the Board and Executive Director further added that these projects were part of the comprehensive plan developed by the RTA to enable bus mass transit systems attract additional numbers of passengers with the aim of reducing traffic bottlenecks. “Such a plan warrants deploying sophisticated buses with high quality, affordable cost and wide geographical coverage so as to contribute to the provision of integrated multi modal transit systems spanning public buses, Dubai Metro and marine transport. The plan also envisages expanding the construction of air-conditioned bus shelters & bus depots, and developing electronic systems & programs such as the Journey Planner (Wojhati), Auto Vehicles Management, Unified Card, and Real Time Passenger Information System in addition to Sharekni and Awselni schemes,” said Al Tayer in a final remark.