H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), underscored RTA’s efforts to diversify the delivery channels of services rendered to customers at the forefront of which come e-services.
“RTA has worked out an integrated strategy to convert the services on offer and deliver them online in keeping with the vision and drive of the e-Government; a strategy based on prompt delivery and customer centricity. The total number of e-services delivered by RTA to customers is currently as high as 164 (procedural and informational) services spanning all services deliverable online, compared to 24 such services in 2007 and 116 services in 2008. The percentage of switching to e-services has reached 100% of the total pre-agreed services identified for possible conversion to online services contained in a work plan set up for this end,” stated Al Tayer.
“In its stand at Gitex Technology Exhibition at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, RTA showcases a wide range of new and enhanced e-services topped by the release of the state-of-the-art Dynamic Navigation System (Dalili); which enables users of roads network avoid congested spots, and access short-cut streets to their intended destinations guided by accurate maps displayed on the navigation system screens. Such maps provide well-defined routes, updated information about traffic congestions, city maps and real-time information about the traffic condition in a way set to minimize tailbacks through directing motorists to alternative roads. The new system, which supports Arabic and English languages usage, enables users reach their intended destinations so easily either through tracking the roadmap, using the search function to locate the landmarks such as shopping centers, hotels, restaurants and banks, or through the Addressing System of Dubai City whereby the district, street and building number are defined, in order to avoid traffic congestions,” added Al Tayer.
RTA Chairman of the Board and Executive Director further added: “Unlike other systems, the new system does not only compute the optimal travelling route on the basis of the length of roads connecting between two points, but gives alerts to avoid such roads at certain times; due to a traffic accident disrupting the natural traffic flow or traffic congestion during peak hours as it takes into consideration the condition of roads traffic in the analysis process.
“During Gitex, RTA launches a new e-service that has application compatible with I-Phone sets enabling users full information about Dubai Metro such as journey time as well as Nol Card types, usage, selling outlets and prices. The new services also include the electronic theoretical test service (Knowledge Test); a system encompassing 35 questions revolving around traffic signals, extent of the applicant’s traffic awareness, and how the applicants deals with the vehicle and other road users in order to verify the applicant’s eligibility for obtaining a driver license,” he said.
Al Tayer stated that RTA has generalized the mParking service to all paid parking zones where more than 3000 machines have been installed. “The new system enables users to pay their parking fees through the mobile phone without having to go to the pay machine or carry coins. The user has just to send an SMS to 7275 including the vehicle number plate, followed by the zone code, and the required parking time. The system will then send a confirmation message to the user and automatically transmit the vehicle’s number to the parking attendant stating that the parking fee of that vehicle has been paid. The system also sends a reminder SMS 10 minutes before the expiry of the parking ticket’s time.
“A new e-service will be added to Nol cards enabling users inquire and obtain reports about the use of various Nol cards, such as Nol Gold and Silver Cards and Nol Red Tickets through accessing Nol online Portal.
“RTA is equally keen on delivering the best services to mass transit users to encourage them migrate from the use of private vehicles in their daily travel to the use of public transport modes. For this purpose, RTA has developed an integrated package of programs and systems to facilitate the use of public buses which include the Journey Planner (Wojhati). Dubai Emirate has become only the fifth city worldwide to use this system after London, New York, Munich, and Melbourne. The system provides all information required by users of mass transit modes such as computing the fare of the journey, identifying the easiest and fastest means of arriving at the required destination, informing the user about the supposed walking distance before arrival at the first point of using public transport means, and the walking distance after the arrival at the nearest point to the intended destination. The system also provides the frequency of changing buses in case there are service transit points, besides the bus schedules, route maps, destinations and all information related to bus stops in a single journey. The program has been designed to cover Dubai Emirate entirely and users can inquire about mass transit means, how to use them and means of mobility through adding the destination in the slots contained in the program.
“RTA has posted its public transport information (such as buses, metro, and the water taxi) on Google Maps, hence making Dubai the first city in the Middle East and North Africa to post its public transport network online through the digital Google Maps. The process enables users of public buses, including residents, visitors and tourists in the Emirate, to plan ahead for their daily travels through this easy-to-use technology offered to online users 24 hours a day. Creative e-services have also been introduced such as the online booking of taxicabs; a unique service across the region as well as the SMS booking of taxis,” said RTA Chairman of the Board and Executive Director in a final remark.