RTA’s transition to public transit systems highlighted at Arab-German Forum

WAM DUBAI: The UAE has become an example to be emulated in undertaking comprehensive developments and has ranked first regionally and 11th globally in terms of the quality of transportation infrastructure under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, according to Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of Dubai’s Roads ‘&’ Transport Authority (RTA) Mattar Al Tayer who cited the Global Enabling Trade Report 2012 issued by the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

Al Tayer made his statement in a speech before a forum held by the Joint Arab-German Council for Industry ‘&’ Trade 2012 in cooperation with the Arab-German Chamber of Commerce, Messe Berlin, and the Saudi-German Liaison Office for Economic Affairs. The gathering aims to boost partnership and ties among GCC and German business leaders in the GCC and Germany with representatives of specialized transportation companies.

Al Tayer briefed the audience of an elite bunch of presidents and executives of transportation authorities as well as Arab businessmen, on RTA’s strategic plan and endeavors to provide excellent infrastructure for roads ‘&’ transport in support of the emirate’s vision for making Dubai the world’s best city worldwide. Key elements of the Plan addressed the reserving of the required strategic boundaries of roads network and mass transit system.

“The RTA has charted a multi-faceted work plan for coping with the pressing challenges highlighted by the traffic congestion which used to cost Dubai Emirate as much as the worth of 5 billion dirham annually. The Plan also included traffic safety elements as fatalities reported in 2006 amounted to 22 cases per 100 thousand of population, and the limited use of public transport means which accounted for a share no more than 6% of total person trips.

The Dubai Government allocated a massive budget of 75 billion dirham (21 billion dollar) to bring about a quantum shift in roads ‘&’ transport infrastructure projects that meet the requirements of comprehensive urban and economic development in the Emirate. In this context the RTA constructed a number of road ‘&’ bridge projects in a bid to ease the traffic jams, costing about 44 billion dirham (12.2 billion dollars).

Accordingly, the number of lanes crossing Dubai Creek jumped from 19 to 48 lanes (153% increase), roads network in Dubai emirate expanded from 8715 km in 2005 to 11798 in 2011 (35% increase), number of bridges leapfrogged from 108 to 347 (221% rise), number of tunnels shot up from 21 to 57 (171% rise), and the number of light signals rocketed from 2500 to 4086 (63% rise).