By Shafaat Ahmed www.khaleejtimes.com
Commuters can now have complete information of Dubai’s entire transport network through Google map as well as Wojhati, the RTA announced.
The upgrade allows sharing of information on all modes of transport including water buses. A passenger can access the route map either through Google map or through Wojhati, a special online journey planner offered by RTA, and make the travel plans, find out the timings of various buses, metro timings and so on. “This is part of the agreement we signed with Google Inc to provide transportation information online on Google map. The initiative is part of our vision to ease mobility of residents as well as tourists in the city,” said Abdullah Al Madani, CEO of RTA’s Technical Support Services Sector.
Online maps are commonly available in many Western cosmopolitan cities London, Paris and New York where people use it to plan their journey in the city. Dubai became the first city in the region when it launched its transport network online last year.
“Before the launch of the maps we had seen its usefulness in many other big cities. So we brought it to Dubai to become the first city in the Middle East to use such a technology. It goes with our vision to become pioneers in providing world class technology in transportation,” Al Madani added.
The current upgrade allows integration of the entire network online, allowing people to plan their entire journey from origin to destination, unlike earlier when people could plan only their bus journeys. The upgrade has been made to the iPhone application RTA launched last year during Gitex, allowing iPhone users to plan their journeys on the move.
The maps would also show RTA’s customer care centres, its testing facilities as well as its bus stands and other offices.The maps and Wojhati, which are mainly intended to ease mobility of tourists, have become easy to operate following the upgrade and redesign of the system.
“We have made it easy to operate and now anybody can use it. Just type in ‘origin’ and ‘destination’ in the respective fields on the Wojhati and the entire route with all the available modes of transport would be displayed on the screen, along with the timing and journey duration,” Al Madani added, explaining the details of the system.
Though Google maps and Wojhati would provide the same information, the latter will provide more details helping people plan in a better way.
More than 300,000 people visited Wojhati over the last year, of whom 66 per cent were regular users while the rest were either new users or just browsers.