Al Tayer unveils Public Transport Day in Dubai



RTA designates Nov 1 as Public Transport Day, offers free ride on metro, bus and water taxi to Nol Card holders

Al Tayer: RTA is working in full harmony with UITP strategy to double the market share of public transport

H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), announced the launch of ‘Public Transport Day’ initiative on November 1st, 2010 to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the RTA during which free metro, bus and water bus rides will be offered to all Nol Card holders.

The announcement was made in a speech delivered by Al Tayer in the 125th anniversary of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) held in the Belgian capital Brussels under the auspices and in the presence of HRH Prince Laurent of Belgium. The event was also attended by decision makers of public transport ministries and authorities as well as representatives of companies specialized in manufacturing and operating public transport systems across the globe.

“Public Transport Day initiative, which features participation of various public and private entities as well as various segments of the community, aims at boosting the role of Dubai Emirate in supporting initiatives that contribute to the improvement of the environment and sustained development, encouraging the public to use mass transit modes, promoting RTA modern transport network (metro, buses and marine transit modes), increasing the ridership of public transport means, and enhancing the integration of multi-modal transport.

The initiative also seeks to showcase the leading role of Dubai Emirate in general and RTA in particular in promoting public transport, diffusing the culture of mass transportation among various community members, explaining the benefits that accrue to individuals from using public transport such as the physical and psychological relief, besides reducing the fuel and maintenance costs let alone the fact that using public transport modes effectively contribute to cutting traffic-related fatalities and curbing carbon emissions from vehicle exhausts,” said Al Tayer.

In his speech, Al Tayer invited all participants to attend the 59th UITP World Congress and Exhibition that will be held in Dubai on 10-14 April 2011 under the them ‘Boosting Public Transport … Action’. “When you arrive in Dubai next year, you will notice a marked change in our public transport network. We are now moving over 1 million passengers per day. The Dubai Metro which was opened on time (9/9/9) can pick you from right inside terminals 1 and 3 of Dubai International Airport. The Red Line, which is now fully operational, is 52 KMs long with 5 KMs underground and 4 underground stations. Since the start of operations, the number of passengers has been increasing rapidly till it reached a peak of 135000 passengers per day and the total metro ridership since that the start of the operation up to the beginning of September this year clocked about 30 Million passengers.

“The green line, which extends 23 km, will be operational in August 2011 including 18 Stations of which 6 are underground. The latest addition to our rail network is Al Safouh Tram which will be completed in 2013 extending 10 KM in a centenary-free route with power feed supplied through a modern and safe ground cabling system, and all stations will be centrally air-conditioned.

“The expansion of our Public Transport Network has also covered buses and marine transport. We are now running a bus network of 1500 buses travelling three hundred thousand KMs per day compared with 620 buses travelling only one hundred and eighty thousand KMs per day in 2006. Our bus passenger-numbers have also increased from 96 Million per year in 2006 to 130 Million passengers per year in 2009 and over 80 Million Passengers in the first 8 months of 2010. To ensure our bus passengers comfort, we have installed over 800 Air-Conditioned Bus Shelters. The Marine Transport network has also been improved with the introduction of the water bus and water taxi in addition to the renovation of traditional Abras.

“The most important aspect of Dubai’s Public Transport Network is that different modes are fully integrated with easy transition between metro, buses and marine transport modes to achieve RTA’s vision of “Safe and Smooth Transport for All” and one of our main strategic goals “From Cars to Public Transport”.

“RTA is totally in line with UITP’s strategy to double the Public Transport market share. Our strategic plan is actually aims to raise public transport mode share from the current 11% to 34% by the year 2020.  Moreover, RTA has very ambitious plans to build a comprehensive Metro and Tram Networks. To achieve these goals we developed a framework for Public-Private Partnerships and the government will endorse it and issue a law to govern these arrangements.

“To be able to manage the Public Transport Network efficiently, we have developed and implemented several knowledge transfer programs for the UAE nationals to ensure they are capable of running our network. These knowledge transfer programs focus on Rail and Bus operations and are run in cooperation with international companies specialized in these fields,” add Al Tayer.

RTA Chairman of the Board and Executive Director further elaborated saying: “The improved infrastructure of public transport systems in Dubai Emirate is an example of what is happening in the UAE and other countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The governments in the region are giving public transport higher importance in their master plans to ultimately reduce the semi-total dependence on private cars. The expected investments portfolio of Public Transport system Projects in the MENA Region will reach over 80 Billion Dollars of investments in the coming 20 years. In the GCC countries alone, the portfolio of mass transit systems exceeds 25 Billion Dollars up till the year 2030. One example is the rail project connecting GCC countries extending approximately 1274 KMs with an estimated cost of 8 Billion Dollars. Such programs require all stakeholders to cooperate in providing their knowledge and expertise to strengthen the role of Public Transport in the region”.

In his speech, Al Tayer praised the huge role played by the UITP in supporting Public Transport culture in the Region since 2003. He cited that in 2006, the UITP MENA Division Office was established in Dubai in cooperation with RTA. “Moreover, UITP held 7 conferences in the region focusing on public transport including the Metro Assembly and the first and second UITP MENA Congresses. Of course, this is in addition to the numerous courses and publications issued by UITP in the past 7 years,” he commented.

In concluding his speech, Al Tayer welcomed the participants to the 59th UITP World Congress and Exhibition that will be held in Dubai next year. “When you come to Dubai you will see for yourselves that Dubai is set as the regional center of integrated transportation. You will also see that Dubai government has created an excellent business environment and a diversified economy that has attracted investors from all over the world. Dubai has been investing in emerging industries and technologies with innovative strategies in different sectors including aviation, information technology, telecommunications, aluminum production, commerce and tourism,” said Al Tayer in a final remark.