The German capital Berlin played host to the International Trade Fair for Transport Technology (InnoTrans 2014), attracting the participation of 2700 firms hailing from 51 countries, where the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is having a major stand showcasing mass transit systems in Dubai, and depicting the growth seen by the public transport sector in the Emirate.
H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, headed RTA’s delegation taking part in the opening of the Exhibition & Convention held under the patronage of H.E. Alexander Dobrindt, the German Minister of Transport and Technological Systems, in the presence of HE Juma Mubarak Al Junaibi, UAE’s Ambassador to the Republic of Germany, as well as scores of transportation officials in European countries.
During the opening session of the Rail Leaders’ Summit, which was attended by presidents of firms and operators of rail systems, and top executives of rail system manufacturers worldwide, Al Tayer stated that the Government of Dubai, led by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had spent about 73 billion dirham to upgrade the transportation infrastructure in Dubai since 2005, as the leadership is keen on bringing happiness to people.
Al Tayer revealed that there were more than 35 mega projects envisioned in the future plan of the RTA. “Over and above the continued development of roads and transportation systems, the RTA is focusing on improving the efficiency of public transport system, and broadening the electronic service offering as well as smart phone applications. The RTA will design and undertake transportation projects necessary for Expo 2020 including the extension of the Red Line of the Dubai Metro, upgrading roads and junctions surrounding and leading to Expo site, and sourcing 39 additional trains up to 2020 in order to improve passenger services. The RTA is also planning to expand the bus network to cover 16 new districts, besides improving the service in 19 districts by 2020,” he explained.
“The RTA has constructed the 75 km-long Dubai Metro comprising 47 stations, which is considered the longest driverless metro line worldwide. It also widened the roads network from 8,715 lane-kilometer in 2005 to 12,545 lane-kilometer in 2013 i.e. a 45% increase. Besides that the RTA has procured a modern fleet of public buses and revamped the marine transit means. Accordingly, the number of mass transit users soared from 112 million riders in 2005 to 446 million riders in 2013 i.e. a 300% increase, thus the share of public transport means in the people’s mobility increased from 6% in 2006 to 13% by the end of last year.
“On 11 November this year, the RTA will start the operation of the initial phase of the Dubai Tram project; the first tram project outside Europe powered by ground electric cables. The tramway, which extends about 10 km and covers 11 stations, intersects with two of the Dubai Metro Stations in a bid to enhance the integration of mass transit modes. The tram is expected to lift about 27 thousand riders per day in 2014, and the ridership is anticipated to grow to as much as 66 thousand riders per day by 2020. Phase 2 and 3 of the Tram project are currently under study,” added Al Tayer.
In his speech, Al Tayer shed light on the transition towards electronic and smart services, saying: “Technology represents the backbone of our services. In this regard the RTA has developed comprehensive technological governance processes to ensure the integrity and safety of our systems and realign them with RTA strategy. In implementation of the initiative of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the RTA launched the Smart Dubai City Program comprising three subsidiary programs namely: corporate intelligence, smart transportation, smart traffic & roads program. The plan comprises the implementation of 22 initiatives / projects, and the launch of at least 200 smart services via smart phones by the end of 2015. Such applications offer a wide range of services to the public including the provision of instant information about the traffic movement through smart phones and the website, smart parking to ease the identification of vacant parking slots, smart taxis enabling the customer to book and track the cab through smart phone app and pay the taxi fare through the smart phone as well.
“The RTA had processed about two billion transactions through 9 million cards issued since the start of the metro operations on 9/9/2009. NOL cards have recently been activated to make them usable in paying taxi fare and as such the customer can use the card in paying for taxi trips, besides integrating NOL cards with the banking cards. The RTA also launched the e-Wallet enabling companies to deal with the RTA and process their daily operations using a very safe payment method. Currently the e-Wallet has 234 customers base, and more than 50 thousand transactions have been processed through the e-Wallet this year to the worth of more than 73 million dirham.
“The public transportation is the backbone of any city as the population cannot move around smoothly without a convenient and safe transportation system. Therefore most governments in various parts of the globe currently attend to qualifying and uplifting their transportation infrastructure. The investment in the infrastructure is the key driver of the economy, investment and tourism in any city; which is why we notice that countries that haven’t taken early action towards uplifting their transportation infrastructure are experiencing huge difficulties that reflect negatively on their economies,” stated Al Tayer.
During the Rail Leaders’ Summit, participants discussed the key future rail projects, government finance of rail projects, the use of clean energy in powering transport systems, digital cities & their importance in improving the efficiency of transportation systems as well as achieving high safety levels, and utilizing modern and smart technology in operating rail systems.
Al Tayer and the accompanying delegation made a tour of various stands of the Exhibition Halls to review the latest railway technology including the design of coaches designated for carrying passengers and cargo, secondary assembly, electromechanical systems, interior design fittings of the rail coaches, catering & travel services, construction of tunnels & accessories, communication & safety engineering, ventilation systems, power & lighting supply, internal finishing of tunnels, in addition to maintenance technology and building products. The exhibition also showcases the latest technology of public bus manufacturing, stations, passenger information systems, taxi management and operation, and traffic management.
Al Tayer also visited RTA stand which highlights details of public transport systems in the Emirate of Dubai, and depicts the growth chart of public transport in the Emirate including the Dubai Metro, a modern fleet of public buses & taxis, and a wide range of marine transit modes. The stand also exhibits the smart apps pertaining to various services enabling customers access to 53 services through smart phones, as well as the Dubai Metro and Dubai Tram projects; the latest additions to the public transport means in Dubai. More info