Dubai mulling more special bus-only lanes

Residents who drive to work welcomed the plan.

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The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is studying the possibility of introducing dedicated bus lanes across Dubai to reduce commute time and traffic congestion, and encourage more people to take public transport, senior RTA officials confirmed to Khaleej Times on Monday.

“The RTA continuously looks at enhancing its bus services whilst considering various factors, which include on time performance (ensuring timely arrival of buses at various bus stops) and optimising the efficiency of the bus network and reducing operational cost,” an RTA spokesperson has said.

“To achieve this, we are studying and reviewing our bus network as well as selected roads located at high population density areas and congested spots in Dubai,” the official added.

“Currently, we have dedicated ‘bus and taxi lanes’ across Dubai in areas of Khalid Bin Al Waleed, Naif, Al Khaleej, Mankhool and Al Mamzar while our ‘Intercity Bus Service network is operated through major highways which include Sheikh Zayed Road, Emirates Road, Ittihad Road and Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Road.

“By 2019, we plan to construct 32km of bus lanes in Al Mankhool, Al Rashid, Amman Street and Khalid Bin Al Waleed,” the RTA official revealed.

The plan is similar to the bus rapid transit (BRT) or transitway in other major urban centres that is designed to improve the capacity and reliability relative to a conventional bus route system.

Commuters welcome

Residents who drive to work welcomed the plan. Dubai resident Andrei Avila, who has been working as a logistics manager in Jebel Ali for 10 years, said he “will definitely ditch his car and take the bus if it will take him straight from his house in Satwa to his work in Jebel Ali”.

“As of now, the only public transport option involves me taking at least three buses and two metro rides to my work. First, from my home, I need to take a feeder bus to Jafiliya Metro Station, then I take the Metro up to the JLT station. Because of the ongoing construction, I need to take another free bus to Ibn Batuta station then another Metro ride to UAE Exchange and afterwards, another feeder bus to my work place,” Avila explained.

“Buses compete with other cars during peak hours so they are also stuck in heavy traffic. But if there will be dedicated bus lanes, it will really encourage more people like me to take the bus because it will mean less time to commute and will also save us some petrol money,” Avila added. More

By Angel Tesorero/Duba  khaleejtimes.com

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