Dubai commuters can now plan their journey

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    Dubai: The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority will launch its Wojhati service on Monday, aiming to give commuters a complete journey plan to encourage use of public transport.

    The use of public transport will be made extremely user-friendly with the launch of Wojhati, which in Arabic means “my destination”.

    The new service will provide a complete journey planner from one place to another.

    It will explain how far a passenger must walk to get the first public bus and which route he or she will have to take to reach a destination. It will also explain how much time it would take to reach that destination.Using the system, which can be accessed on the internet, commuters will be able to decide which mode of transport would best suit their purpose be it buses, the Metro or water transport services. The new system will be in place well before the start of the first phase of the Dubai Metro, scheduled to be launched on September 9.

    His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has already reviewed the project, according to WAM.

    Commenting on the project, Mattar Al Tayer, chairman of the board and executive director of the RTA, said the agency is committed to delivering top-class services to commuters to bring about a transition from private vehicles to mass transit systems.

    Currently, only 6 per cent of Dubai residents use public transport and the RTA aims to get this figure up to 30 per cent with the launch of the Dubai Metro and an increased number of public buses.

    Al Tayer said: “The RTA is launching an integrated package of comprehensive systems and programmes to facilitate and encourage the use of public buses. Among these projects is the Journey Planner Wojhati system, which provides all information required by users of mass transit. It will tell [the] trip fare, [the] easiest method of reaching [a] destination, the presumed walking distance before accessing the first point of using public transport, and the presumed walking distance after arriving at the nearest point to the required destination of the user.” The system explains bus schedules, bus route maps and destinations, and all information related to bus stops and metro stations along the journey route.

    Al Tayer also explained how the Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) system would work and said the system opened up the possibility of using smart cards instead of paper tickets, saving on operational costs, creating multiple-fare products and segments, besides making it easier to market it at various sales points prior to boarding the bus.

    The RTA’s Public Transport Agency has also embarked on ‘The Automated Bus Management project’ which aims to improve public transport services in Dubai by offering instant tracking of public buses 24 hours a day and a link-up with buses to ensure timely arrival at the destination.

    “The system makes it easy to manage buses through a central control unit, where the attending employee can introduce the changes constantly required to run the service on the scheduled time,” Al Tayer explained.

    Punctuality: Instant information

    Instant Passenger Information System (IPIS) is another facet of the journey planner service being introduced by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

    The IPIS will enable passengers to assess the actual journey schedules at the respective bus stations, bus stops and metro stations. This enables passengers to know the exact bus transit time, as well as the status of the next, belated or rescheduled buses; making it easy to know the exact bus arrival time.

    The project will be implemented in three phases and encompasses installation of about 1,200 display monitors throughout all Dubai Metro stations, and bus stops of metro station feeder service, as well as other bus stops across the emirate.

    With the introduction of the complete journey planner, passengers will be travelling in comfort even during harsh summer months, when the average temperature rises to more than 40 Celsius.

    By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter, www.gulfnews.com, April 19, 2009

     

    An RTA bus hits the road after making a halt. The RTAWojhati journey planning service makes debut today.Hadrian Hernandez/Gulf News
    An RTA bus hits the road after making a halt. The RTAWojhati journey planning service makes debut today.Hadrian Hernandez/Gulf News