Mohammed Obaid Al Mulla, Board Member and CEO of the Roads Transport Authority (RTA), and Chairperson of the Higher Organizing Committee of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) Congress 2011, headed RTA delegation taking part in the 2nd International Transport Conference & Exhibition for the Middle East; which was recently held in the Kingdom of Jordan under auspices of the Jordanian Prime Minister H.E. Samer Al Rifaa’ee and in the presence of the Jordanian Minster of Transport H.E. Alaa Al Batayneh.
RTA participation was in response to an invitation from the Jordanian Ministry of Transport for taking part in the Conference, which was opened by the Jordanian Prime Minister in the presence of 13 Transport Ministers in various Arab countries in addition to the Turkish Transport Minister, to showcase RTA’s model in migrating towards mass transit means.
Al Mulla made a presentation to the Conference entitled: “Journey Towards Mass Transportation in Dubai – Challenges & Achievements” in which he highlighted the past and current evolution of public transport sector in Dubai Emirate, the key challenges confronting this drive, and achievements made or being made in this vital sector; which is considered a bedrock of the prosperity and success of this Emirate thrusting its emergence as a premier economic, business, service and tourist center in the region.
“Among the key challenges faced by the RTA in the transition towards public transport was the cost of time wasted in traffic congestion; and here the RTA managed to slash this cost from a worth of $1.6bn in 2007 to $1.1bn in 2009. Similarly, fatality rate per 100 thousand of population dropped from 21.9 cases in 2006 to 12.7 cases in 2009, thanks to the sound plans developed by the RTA and the expeditious efforts made to materialize them on the ground,” said Al Mulla.
He added, “The share of mass transit trips increased from 6% in 2008 to 12% in 2010 and RTA targets to push it further to as much as 30% by 2020 through counting on the Metro, public buses, water bus, water taxi and Ferry Dubai, once launched.”
Al Mulla also shed light on RTA’s Strategic Plan for Public Transport 2020 and also briefed the Conference about the rail network set for completion by the same year; which envisages the construction of a 318km-long rail line and a 270 km-long tram line.
Speaking on public bus plan 2020, Al Mulla said, “The total length of public bus network is set to expand to 3000 km and the number of buses in operation is set to rise to 3000 buses to lift about 4.5 million passengers per day, and the service is planned to have 10 express routes and 8 main routes. Dubai city and inter-emirates bus service is supported by state-of-the-art buses considered top-of-the-range worldwide, in addition to air-conditioned bus shelters for waiting bus passengers, and so far about 972 shelters have been completed.”
Al Mulla also spoke about RTA Marine Transit Network stating that the 2020 plan encompasses expanding the network to about 450 km to cover a sea front stretching 1700 km.
The Head of RTA delegation to the Conference also gave some briefing about transport policies & legislations such as vehicle registration, drivers licensing, bus & taxi dedicated lanes, pedestrian exclusive zones, and the toll gate system. He also explained RTA’s initiatives towards the conservation of the environment through experimenting the use of hybrid engine vehicles in Dubai Taxi fleet, and the new buses powered by Euro-4 engines using the most environment-friendly fuel around.
Al Mulla concluded RTA’s presentation by referring to Nol card system along with the future marketing plans of mass transit systems as well as the Public Transport Day launched on 1st November last year to encourage the public use the public buses, metro and the water bus free of charge for one day (24 hours). He also touched on the importance of the international participation in the 59th UITP Congress & Exhibition to be held in Dubai in 2011 and the underlying reasons for selecting Dubai as host of this global event.