Public transport master plan on target

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By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter  www.gulfnews.com

Dubai: The emirate is well on track to achieve its ambitious target of 30 per cent of commuters using public transport in the emirate by 2020.

    *  Dubai Metro will play a major role once it is fully operational on both the Red and Green Lines, as it is expected to carry 17 per cent of the 30 per cent people using public transport by 2020.     * Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
* Dubai Metro will play a major role once it is fully operational on both the Red and Green Lines, as it is expected to carry 17 per cent of the 30 per cent people using public transport by 2020. * Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

The Dubai government’s Comprehensive Integrated Public Transport Master Plan, which aims to provide a complete network of transport to passengers, has started yielding results with a marked increase in number of passengers using public transport.

The master plan includes linking Dubai Metro, public buses, marine transport and taxis to provide hassle-free commuting facilities.

“Our aim is to lure more people to use public transport leaving their private cars at home whenever possible,” said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

“We are pleased to reveal that the public transport share has increased from 6 per cent of the total transportation trips in Dubai in 2005 to 9.7 per cent early this year and we are well on track to achieve our target of 30 per cent share by 2020,” Al Tayer noted.

Major role

He said Dubai Metro will play a major role once it is fully operational on both the Red and Green Lines as the Metro is expected to carry 17 per cent of the total 30 per cent of people using public transport by 2020.

“We will achieve our target via continuous improvement plans for all modes of transport including the Dubai Metro, trams, buses, taxis and marine transport,” he noted.

He said the RTA is attaching paramount importance to mass transportation systems and is keen on upgrading the sector in terms of quality, efficiency and modernity.

According to the latest statistics released by the RTA, some 218 million passengers used public transport in 2009 compared to 173 million in 2008 — an increase of 59 million passengers. Out of the total 218 million, 120 million used public buses, 70 million taxis, 11.5 million Dubai Metro and 17 million water transport (traditional abra and water buses).

“The massive increase was recorded mainly due to increase in public transport buses and the launching of the Metro,” he noted.

This number is set to grow further with more Metro stations on the Red Line starting from April 2010.

“Metro is expected to carry 35 million passengers this year giving a big boost to the public transport system,” Al Tayer said.

Since its launch on 09/09/2009 till March 10, the Metro has transported about 12 million passengers with a daily average of around 80,000 commuters.

“The huge investments pumped by the Government of Dubai in developing the infrastructure of transport sector have proved successful and effective,” Al Tayer said.

He said the rising growth in the number of mass transport users illustrates the evolution of public transport culture among all segments of the community.

Using mass transportation has multiple benefits to users such as bringing psychological relief, minimising road crashes and slashing fuel and maintenance expenditure for private vehicles.

Also, using public transport reduces pollution from vehicle emissions.

Details

  • Project: Comprehensive Public Transport Master Plan
  • Developer: Dubai Roads and Transport Authority
  • Cost: Dh32 billion (by 2010) including cost of Dubai Metro, Public Buses and marine transport
  • Completion: on going

In numbers

  • 218 million passengers used public transport in 2009 compared to 173 million in 2008
  • 120 million used public buses, 70 million taxicabs, 11.5 million Dubai Metro and 17 million water transport (traditional Abra and water buses)