Public bus users favour more Dedicated Lanes



A recent survey carried out by the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) revealed that 77 per cent of public transport users in Dubai favoured widening the scope of Dedicated Lanes for Buses and Taxis scheme to cover more streets, over and above Al Mankhool, Al Khaleej, Khalid bin Al Waleed and Al Ghubaiba streets; which saw the debut of the scheme in mid May last.

“Bus Dedicated Lanes scheme has achieved high satisfaction rating among the public over the last few months; giving an indicator of its ability to attract more community members to use public transport modes and thus serve the ultimate objective of the scheme. The scheme also contributes to increasing the traffic capacity of the concerned streets, slashing the journey time, and enhancing the integration between various public transport modes, including mass transit systems; which all add to the realization of RTA strategic objective of increasing the share of public transport to 30 per cent by 2020,” said engineer Maitha bin Udai, CEO of RTA Traffic & Roads Agency.

“Since inauguration, we have been monitoring the efficiency of the scheme in serving the objectives for which it was introduced. A questionnaire was carried out in the first half of July last covering 1053 respondents and the results proved that the scheme was starting to pay dividends,” she added.

Elaborating on the results of the survey, Maitha said: “The questionnaire covered 5 categories related to the scheme spanning 516 public transport users, 119 private vehicle motorists, 221 cab drivers, 151 public bus drivers, and 56 RTA inspectors.

“Among public transport users 77 per cent wished the scheme to cover other streets in Dubai, 75% stated that the scheme helped shorten the journey time, 76 per cent believed that the scheme would be an attractive element for using mass transport, and 74 per cent expressed their satisfaction with the awareness campaigns of the scheme.

“The initial results of the questionnaire prompt the RTA to open other phases of the Dedicated Lanes for Buses and Taxis scheme after conducting comprehensive studies of each phase to assess its impact on the roads network of each district.

“The project received a welcome sign from public bus drivers as 86.4 per cent of them expressed their satisfaction with the impact of the project in shortening the journey time, 87 per cent said that the scheme would boost public transport ridership, and 88.4 per cent wished the scheme to be expanded to cover new streets and districts in Dubai, besides those opened last May,” continued Maitha.

She further stated that the awareness campaigns of the scheme would target all road users, particularly private motorists where 44 per cent of them said that they knew nothing about the Dedicated Lanes scheme, and were also unaware of the prescribed misuse fine amounting to AED600. “RTA has therefore prepared an educative brochure to be distributed widely to cover the largest possible numbers of community members. The brochure includes the objectives of the scheme, the four roads covered under the initial phase, and the enforcement measures coordinated between the RTA and Dubai Police,” commented Maitha.

“RTA has recently delivered a series of educative lectures on the scheme targeting mainly drivers of public buses and taxis and will soon roll on intensive educative campaigns and lectures to explain the technical features of the Dedicated Lanes for Buses and Taxis scheme such as the exclusive markings, signage and light signals,” said the CEO of RTA Traffic & Roads Agency in a final remark.