• More educative signage to explain the use of public transport as well as Nol & Salik cards
• Firm regulations to deter the misuse of air-conditioned bus shelters
In its 13th meeting, the Customers Council of the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) discussed with the customers of Traffic & Roads Agency several issues related to Madinati system; which is the basic platform for receiving feedbacks and suggestions of the public about the risks & violations pertinent to the right of way.
The gathering was attended by Mohammed Obaid Al Mulla, RTA Board Member and Chairperson of Customers Council; Dr. Aysha Al Busmait, Director of Customers Service; and Nazim Faisal, Director of Roads Maintenance.
At the outset of the gathering, Mohammed Obaid Al Mulla highlighted RTA’s expeditious efforts to upgrade the level of services delivered to the public in general and customers in particular to bring them at par with the highest global practices applicable in this regard given the diverse nature of services offered by the RTA in Dubai. He pointed out that RTA Customer Council was doing its level best to attain customers’ satisfaction through holding periodical meetings that contribute to the probing the public opinion and receiving feedbacks on several issues and complaints, and added that the Council, as a work team, managed to figure out the proper solutions to those issues.
“We are continuously in touch with the public through the Call Center; which receives everyday plenty of communications including views, complaints and suggestions; which warrant us to care for them and study them carefully before referring them to the appropriate person in charge such that an optimal solution is worked out,” said Al Mulla in a speech delivered to the gathering.
“Madinati system is a creative communication channel for reporting damage inflicted on roads furniture or any distortion of the beautiful and urbanized profile of Dubai. Therefore your interaction with us in reporting any harm or damage is crucial for averting accidents and protecting public properties. Communication can be easily established with the Call Center via dialing the toll-free number (8009090), selecting Madinati and reporting the damage incurred,” said RTA Board Member and Chairperson of Customers Council. He also shed light on the key objectives of the system which aims at involving the community in addressing the damage made faster; thereby extending the surveillance umbrella of the city 24/7; which would save time and effort of other bodies as well.
Al Mulla noted that the public response to Madinati is on the rise citing that the monthly reports made had grown in 2010 compared to the year before from 1333 reports to 1977 reports.
Then discussion took place between the RTA Customers Council and customers. At the beginning, a customer suggested that RTA provides numbers that are attached to bicycles to enable those in charge of the Right of Way to record offences against bicycles violating traffic regulations. He remarked that pedestrian crossings at some vital areas are far from bus drop-off points and that air-conditioned shelters are used by some people in an unruly manner. It was also proposed to set up a large signage inside airports explaining to the visitors how to use Nol and Salik cards, designated parking, and other matters relating to the Metro or public buses in order to avoid offences.
Al Mulla further said: “Bikes are an integral part of transport systems in Dubai and through this suggestion we are seeking to communicate with the concerned bodies to introduce a deterrent rule to streamline the movement of bikes. We will also review the practice in the advanced countries in using bicycles to know whether or not they are applying the numbering system. As to the lack of integration between pedestrian crossings and bus drop-off points, we will address this matter in order to ensure the integrity of pedestrians services on the road.
“More studies will be carried out to explore the possibility of placing extra signboards on roadsides and the entry airports, particularly for the sake of visitors incoming from various countries, to further explain matters relating to public transport, the metro system, and how to use or from where to buy Nol & Salik cards. Such guidance material is also expected to explain the offences reported in case of breaching the system (especially Salik). We’ll also intimate the Public Transport Agency with regard to developing stringent and deterrent measures to those who misuse the air-conditioned bus shelters,” added Al Mulla.
A customer suggested placing electronic equipment for issuing and renewal of Nol Cards in various areas of Dubai, particularly since most of areas are densely populated. At this particular juncture, Al Mulla pointed out that the suggestion was important as it would contribute to saving time for Nol card users, saying “We will take it into consideration and develop an appropriate alternative for the electronic machines such as designating two or three vehicles by RTA to roam residential areas to issue and renew cards for users”.
Another customer of the Traffic and Roads Agency shed light on the problem of traffic congestion at Naif area in Dubai which is attributed to the narrow roads and their lack of bus designated stops in the area. Consequently, buses can stop abruptly on the road to drop passengers causing traffic congestion. About this problem, Al Mulla pointed out that countries which have sophisticated public buses designate bus stops at certain areas and exclude others. “We will, however, take this matter into consideration in order to develop an appropriate solution to minimize traffic congestion in this area”, he said.
Mohammed Obaid Al Mulla added that there was a requirement for brochures to be available in hotels attracting large number of visitors to explain RTA’s multiple rules on the use of the Metro, buses and Nol and Salik cards. The aim of this is to disseminate the awareness of the rules and minimize offences. Consideration was given to a suggestion made by a customer on police vehicles committing mistakes such as stopping in an uncivilized manner on bridges and pavements to catch over-speeding cars. Al Mulla stated the concerned staff at General HQ of the Dubai Police would be approached through the Board to consider forbidding such vehicles from stopping in a similar fashion except for emergency cases.
The gathering addressed the severe traffic congestion at the Discovery Gardens for reasons attributed to there being only one ingress and one outgress in this vital area. For this reason, Al Mulla pointed out that RTA, in cooperation with Nakheel, has put in place a full study on the creation of ingresses and outgresses for this area which has yet to be implemented. RTA has also conducted another study to build bridges in the vicinity of the Global Village that would contribute to facilitating the exit of visitors towards Abu Dhabi. “The study, however, remains on paper due to some complaints about the outgress leading to Abu Dhabi being excessively far away wasting a lot of time”, he concluded.