By Mohammed Al Munji www.zawya.com
H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), has recently received a German delegation headed by H.E. George Bode, the Minister of Economy, Labour and Transport.
The meeting, which was attended by several RTA CEOs as well as representatives of German companies specialized in the transport sector, explored the means of cooperation and sharing expertise between the RTA and its German counterpart along with the companies operating in roads and transport sector in the Federal Republic of Germany. The two parties also explored the future road and infrastructure projects in Dubai.
In the outset of the meeting, Al Tayer praised the record of the German companies undertaking several mass transit systems in Dubai Metro and Public Transport sector, and the meeting also reviewed RTA experiment in migrating from the use of private vehicles to the use of public transport modes.
“From inception RTA has been keen on developing the public transport systems to make them the first choice of commuters in the Emirate under a plan aimed at raising the share of mass transit modes from 6 per cent in 2006 to as much as 34 per cent in 2020. Under this drive, RTA has constructed the Dubai Metro project, beefed up the fleet of public buses from 619 buses in the early days of the RTA to more than 1593 buses in 2010, operated around 800 air-conditioned bus shelters, and completed the construction of Bus Depots at Aiwr, Al Rawiyya, Al Khawaneej and Jebel Ali. In the marine transport, RTA has operated the Water Bus and the Water Taxi, and retrofitted about 154 abras,” said Mattar Al Tayer.
“Consequently, mass transit system in the Emirate is playing a dynamic role in the daily mobility of residents and visitors, which pushed up the daily rider-ship of public transport modes to about one million persons per day. The share of public transport means in the mobility of Dubai population has soared to 11 per cent compared to only 6 per cent in 2006,” he continued.
Speaking about RTA road projects, Al Tayer said: “The number of lanes crossing over the Dubai Creek was hiked from 19 to 148 lanes recording 153 per cent increase. In the meantime, RTA expanded the roads network from 8715 km in 2006 to 11217 km in 2010, and developed 25 key interchanges”.
For its part the German delegation commended the speedy delivery of projects by the RTAciting road projects, the Dubai Metro, upgrading of public buses and the integration of public transport systems as examples. The delegation was particularly impressed by the Dubai Metro project featuring fabulous design, high-quality finishes and excellent passenger service.
H.E. George Bode, the German Minister of Economy, Labour and Transport stated that he would be aspiring for enhanced cooperation and partnerships between the two parties, besides exchanging expertise and practices in public transport and rail systems. The German Minister concluded his remarks by pinning hopes in seeing the German private companies engaged in the projects and programs to be undertaken by the RTA in the near future.