The new water taxis to be introduced in Dubai will be ordered soon by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). The 10 craft are being bought for a total of Dh30 million and will enter service at the beginning of next year.
“We want to give the public alternative modes of transport,” said Mattar Al Tayer, RTA’s Chairman and Executive Director.
The project is part of the comprehensive Dh1 billion Marine Transport Strategic Plan being introduced to cover Dubai’s coastline.
The RTA will soon announce the tender for the manufacture of the water taxis and will invite bids from local and international companies. The initial 10 vessels will represent the first phase of the water taxi project. Another marine service, Dubai Ferry, is to begin operations by end of 2009.
Damen Shipyards Group of Holland prepared the technical design for the water taxis following a competitive tender.
The 11-seater craft will operate in the same way as on-demand road taxis and the service will be available through telephone booking. Passengers will wait at an agreed boarding station and 20 per cent of the seats will be reserved for people with special needs. The taxis will be available for private tours.
The taxis will initially use existing stations and operate only in Dubai, but the service will later be extended to the coastlines of other emirates.
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