RTA staff sign up to reduce congestion


Some 372 staff of the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) have signed up to its new service of transporting its employees between work and their residences.

Awselni, meaning "lift me", is a programme by the RTA to help reduce congestion on Dubai roads and free up parking spaces around its premises.

The move is also designed to encourage private sector companies to provide mass transport for their staff as part of their responsibilities to help reduce traffic congestion on Dubai's roads.

Essa Abdul Rahman Al Dosari, CEO of the authority's Public Transport Agency, said the Awselni concept had so far been widely received by RTA employees, adding it would reduce traffic congestion around RTA offices by 18 per cent.

"Mobility Management Programs Section at the Planning and Business Development Department at the agency has prepared an integrated plan to achieve this target, following an elaborate study of the current trends and situation of mass transit in the emirate of Dubai. The study highlighted the importance of having RTA employees perform their own share of duty towards easing traffic bottleneck. This approach is bound to contribute to smooth traffic flow and minimise the number of tragic traffic accidents and reduce environmental pollution," said Al Dosari at a press briefing on Monday at RTA's new public transport premises in Al Muhaisinah 2.

He said Awselni would help in easing psychological and physical tension to which employees are subjected to while driving through congested roads and will also boost their productivity as well as reduce fuel expenses. "We want RTA to serve as an example to the various public and private organisations and to show that they can do something to help reduce congestion," said Al Dosari.

Currently, traffic congestion costs businesses in Dubai about Dh4 billion annually and transport as well as logistics companies have constantly appealed to authorities to help ease congestion as it negatively affects business. The agency would deploy dedicated buses to lift RTA employees from their homes to their work places and vice versa.

The buses will be fitted with wireless internet facilities and some seats will have laptops to allow employees to do their official work while on the move.

The buses also have television screens for entertainment and are fitted with the best safety and security facilities. The Awselni service will commence from Sunday and it is entirely free of charge and optional.

Currently, 24 per cent of RTA staff have registered for the service, excluding taxi and public bus drivers. Initially, 10 buses will be used to carry staff between the main RTA offices.