Raising mass transport profile in Dubai

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By Matovu Abdallah  Twaha  gulftoday.ae

DUBAI: On Monday, The Gulf Today readers were given a lowdown on the various milestones achieved by Sharjah Transport Corporation in 2012. Today, we look at the initiatives, developments and key activities undertaken in the same period by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of Dubai:

Jan.30 — Safety for newborn babies: Over 1,000 newly delivering mothers were recorded to have been registered in a period of two years into the RTA’s programme of educating them about traffic safety procedures. The programme contributed to a marked reduction in traffic injuries sustained by newborn children.

Feb.9 — Utilising social media: Tapping into social media with gusto, the RTA’s YouTube viewers hit over 250,000.

Feb.14  — Saving energy: the RTA goes on to distribute energy saving bulbs by way of rolling out effective power-saving initiatives.

Feb.22 — Registering trailers: The RTA starts licensing trailers and semi-trailers of trucks, a step they said was aimed at “boosting the road safety and protecting public property.” A senior official said the procedure would kick off by licensing trailers transporting hazardous material and fuel as they are the most vulnerable and high-risk vehicles on roads.

Feb.24 — More abra users in Global Village: A senior RTA official, Eisa Al Dossari, announces an upsurge in the use of traditional abras at Global Village, which went up by 25 per cent as compared to the ridership in the previous two years.

March 5 — Targeting children for changing road safety behaviour: Children account for over 60 per cent of crash victims in Dubai, a figure nearly three times the prevailing international rate of 22.3 per cent. In view of these statistics, the RTA announces it is directing its road safety awareness effort at children with an aim to changing their road and safety behaviour.

March 9 — Emission reduction: The RTA announces it has reduced carbon footprint by one million kg of CO2 in 2011 and in the process, saved Dhs3.4m. Carbon footprint, a serious demand by the UN, refers to an individual or organisation’s actions or lifestyle that have direct effect on the environment in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

March 19 — Buttressing fleet: Dubai Taxi procures 200 Nissan Altima taxicabs to beef up its taxi fleet.

April 9 — Dubai Metro bags awards: The Dubai Metro bags three excellence awards at the level of the Middle East during a rail operators’ meet in Madinat Jumeirah. The awards included the Rail Project of the Year Award 2012, Rail Visionary of the Year Award, and Special Merit Award for Commitment to the Environment Award.

April 12 — Saving billions of dirhams: The Gulf Today learns that the initiatives launched by the RTA since its inception in 2005 have resulted in savings of an estimated Dhs48bn in time and fuel terms. The Dubai economy used to lose anything from Dhs4bn-Dhs6bn annually due to motor traffic congestion.

April 15 — Easy direction: RTA pins charts at bus shelters showing bus trip timetables, bus frequency and time taken between bus stops.

April 15  — Dubai raises taxi fares: RTA raises fares for all taxis from Dhs6 to Dhs10 for specified hours applicable to “only pre-booked” taxicabs through the Booking and Despatch Centre. The new fare applies during morning rush hours from 7am-10am, and evening rush hours from 4pm-8pm, from Saturday to Wednesday and from 4pm-midnight the rest of the days.

April 22 — Emiratisation in Dubai Metro: A source in the RTA said the overall level of Emiratisation in the operation and management of Dubai Metro stands at 12 per cent; but the top management positions are at 40 per cent out of the desired 50-60 per cent “in the top and intermediate management positions targeted by the end of 2014.”

April 23 — More stations for water taxi: The RTA boosts its water taxi stations list by adding two new stations at Rixos The Palm Hotel, and Dubai Marina Mall, thus bringing the total number of stations to 25.

May 4 — Ibn Battuta-Abu Dhabi Route opens following constant public call for a stopover here.

May 20 — Taxi booking promotes tourism:  The RTA and STC authorities say that taxi-booking service has increased and raised the Emirates’ tourism profile.

May 24 — Drivers’ welfare: The Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC) starts a Social Solidarity Fund where its drivers could borrow an interest-free loan of up to Dhs5,000.

June 9 — Trams on course: Elevated track of Safouh Tramway completed; project completion rate hits 43 per cent.

July 7 — Trade Centre Bridges Project: RTA head Al Tayer says that completion rate at Trade Centre Bridges Project at Zaabeel had almost reached 50 per cent; which is now set for completion in November 2013.

July 19 — Intermediaries cut off from plate auction: RTA says it will make a flat rate for number plate sale, bypassing intermediaries who were making lucrative business of reselling much-in-demand number plates after an auction by the transport body. More info