By Shafaat Ahmed www.khaleejtimes.com
DUBAI – The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) lauded the University of Wollongong Dubai’s (UOWD) efforts in promoting the use of Metro among its students, while urging other educational institutions to follow suit.
The RTA, as its policy, is promoting the use of Mass Transit System to travel around Dubai, helping reduce congestion on roads as well as protecting the environment.
The large student community that is part of the city’s population is one RTA’s prime targets. The authority is in discussion with several institutions to promote its services among students. It’s also planning to introduce special fares and other rewards to keep the students on track.
“Various modes are being discussed to promote Dubai Metro. Schools in the vicinity of 100-200 metres of the stations are being identified and awareness programmes are being carried with school administrations,” Ramdan Abdullah, Director of Operations at the Rail Agency in RTA.
Abdullah said the authority is also considering various types of agreements and contracts with several educational institutions, while at the same time “special concessions for students are also being planned.”
At a time when RTA is still considering its strategies to lure students on metro, UOWD’s decision of starting a shuttle service between its campus in Knowledge Village and the Dubai Internet City station is pioneering.
The UOWD’s positive step has seen a phenomenal increase in its students travelling by Dubai Metro to and from the university.
Nearly 400 of the varsity’s students prefer the Metro to cars or the university’s buses.
The institution authorities hope that the shuttle service, which runs every 20 minutes, will encourage more students to take up the Metro as their preferred mode of transport.
“This is not only more convenient for students and provides them a significant cost-saving – it is also much better for the environment,” said Professor Rob Whelan, UOWD president.
The University also arranges feeder services from a student’s home to the nearest Metro station, on request. For example, students in Bur Dubai will be picked from different designated areas and dropped at the nearest Metro station.