More and more commuters use public transport



DUBAI — Public transport in Dubai has been used by 56 million commuters during the first half of 2010, revealed Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

Dubai metro
Dubai metro

Al Tayer said the total number of public bus commuters would reach 119 million by the end of this year.

“Public bus service operational indicators reveal that in the first half of the year, bus commuters increased to about 56 million transported in 1.8 million journeys, of which 44 million used ‘urban transport’, buses operating in over 80 domestic routes covering the various districts and towns of Dubai. About seven million used inter-city buses operating in over 13 routes covering the main cities across the emirates.

The number of commuters using feeder buses amounted to 4.8 million approximately,” said Al Tayer, adding that the feeder bus service at metro stations contributed to its increased use. He also noted that there has been a bus frequency increase by 62 per cent and hopes to keep the number stable in a bid to cut down on commuters’ waiting time. In addition, safety and security indictors have shown a drop in accident rates with one accident per 100,000km. Al Tayer attributed this to the RTA drivers’ intense training and high safety awareness.

“The RTA strategy has succeeded in improving the performance of public bus service, increasing its operational efficiency, and reducing fuel consumption and maintenance costs. Public transport routes have been restructured this year with a view to reducing the number of kilometres done, realising operational efficiency, redistributing the frequency of service in urban routes and metro feeder service, and redistributing routes and buses on depots to reduce wasted mileage,” he said.

Bus stations at Al Khawaneej and Jebel Ali are expected to open soon. Each will provide a massive parking yard for over 250 public buses as well as office buildings and residential units dedicated to staff.

Al Tayer said these projects were part of a comprehensive plan developed by the RTA to enable mass transit systems to attract additional number of passengers so that the traffic bottlenecks could be minimised.

“Such a plan warrants deploying sophisticated buses with high quality, affordable cost and wide geographical coverage so as to contribute to the provision of integrated multi-modal transit systems spanning public buses, Dubai Metro and marine transport.

The plan also envisages expanding the construction of air-conditioned bus shelters and bus depots, and developing electronic systems and programmes such as the Journey Planner (Wojhati), Auto Vehicles Management, Unified Card, and Real Time Passenger Information System in addition to Sharekni and Awselni schemes,” he said.