DOHA: The cost of time wasted in traffic jams in Dubai is estimated at Dh4.6bn every year, senior officials from the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in the Emirate said yesterday.
The RTA has embarked on several ambitious projects to address the congestion and reduce accidents by developing the public transport system in this vibrant Middle Eastern city.
Fatality rate in traffic accidents in Dubai currently stands at 17 out of 100,000 people. RTA aims to reduce it to around five fatalities by 2020, it was stated in a press conference organized by RTA on the sidelines of the second UITP MENA Congress and Showcase being held at Grand Hyatt hotel here.
RTA operates 1,330 city buses besides a fleet of about 7,300 taxis, half of which are operated through private franchisees. About 700 air-conditioned bus shelters have been installed across the city, most of which are currently operational.
More than one million people have already used the metro rail network in the city, which was launched recently. Ferries and water taxis also form part of the booming public transport net work in the city.
Abdul Aziz Abdullah Malik, CEO Dubai Taxi Corporation, Mohammed Obaid al Mulla, CEO, Marine Agency, Alian Flausch, president UITP and Abdul Redha Abu Hassan, director of Planning and Design Department at Rail Agency were present at the press conference.
Public transport is fast emerging an alternative mode of transport in Dubai. However, only 6 percent of the population are still using public transport. Our target is to increase it to 35 per cent in the next few years,
said Al Mulla.
The metro railway will have a total of 29 stations across the city, of which nine are already operational. We have kept the metro fares moderate to make the service affordable to all segments of the society. They are cheaper compared to many other cities,
claimed Al Mulla.
Asked it there is any proposal to restrict the ownership of cars,
Abu Hassan said,
We have adopted a carrot-and-stick policy to encourage people to use the public transport system. However, the change should come from the people themselves. We can not ask people to abandon the cars unless and until an alternative system is fully in place in the city.
Dubai is gearing up to host the 59th UITP World Congress and Exhibition in 2011. More than 2,000 delegates from 75 countries are expected to attend the event,