His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), has recently received a Spanish delegation headed by HE Fernando Salazar, Vice President of the Spanish Institute of Foreign Trade. The meeting was also attended by Abdul Mohsin Ibrahim, CEO of RTA Strategy & Corporate Governance Sector.
The meeting reviewed RTA’s experience in the move from using private vehicles to public transport means saying: “From inception, RTA has been keen on developing mass transit systems to make them the first choice of commuters in the Emirate under a plan envisaging an increase of public transport ridership from 6% in 2006 to 34% by 2020. Under this drive, RTA has constructed the Dubai Metro project, the longest driverless metro line undertaken as a single project worldwide, and the first phase was opened on 09/09/2009. Likewise, RTA bus fleet was beefed up from 619 buses at the time of establishing the RTA to more than 1593 buses in 2010, besides operating about 800 air-conditioned bus shelters. RTA had also completed the construction of Bus Depots at Al Awir, Al Rawiyya and Al Khawaneej, while construction works are up and running in the Jebel Ali Bus Depot. In the marine transport, RTA operated the Water Bus and the Water Taxi besides renovating 154 abras.”
Al Tayer went further to say: “As a result of these efforts, mass transit in Dubai has become a dynamic system in the daily travel of residents and visitors. The number of people who used mass transit modes in 2009 has exceeded 288.777 million and the daily ridership is hovering around one million passengers. As such the contribution of public transport means to the movement of population is currently around 11 percent; which compares favourably with the 6% prevailing during 2006.”
RTA Chairman of the Board and Executive Director touched briefly on RTA road projects saying: “The number of lanes crossing over Dubai Creek has also soared sharply from 19 to 48 lanes; reflecting 153 per cent rise. Equally, the length of roads network increased from 8715 km in 2006 to 11217 km in 2010 in addition to the construction of 25 key interchanges.”
The Spanish delegation members hailed RTA speed delivery of infrastructure projects comprising roads, metro, upgrading public bus fleet and the integration of mass transit systems. They specifically praised the Dubai Metro project with such a stunning design as well as the high quality finishes and excellent services characterizing the project.
HE Fernando Salazar, Vice President of the Spanish Institute of Foreign Trade, expressed his aspiration for boosting the cooperative and partnership relations between the two parties towards exchanging expertise and benefiting from their individual practices in the fields of public transport and rail systems. He also stated that the Spanish private sector would be interested in taking part in the projects and programs intended to be carried out by the RTA in future.