RTA’s Public Transport Agency announced that as of April 1 2015, rules would be enforced against vehicles misusing the Bus & Taxi Only lanes where a fine of Dh600 will be reported against violators.
Dr. Yousef Mohammed Al Ali, CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency said: “The system would be implemented in the initial phase on the Bus & Taxi Only Lane extending one kilometre of Naif Road, which is used by 20 routes involving more than 300 RTA’s public buses per day (about 2,431 journeys per day).
The RTA has installed seven cameras along the lane to monitor violators where violations would be reported through surveillance cameras, and/or the Dubai Police patrols.
“There is a drop in the number of vehicles using the Bus and Taxi Only lanes by as much as 63 per cent during the experimental phase of the system, which is indicative of the growing awareness amongst motorists.
“It also reflects that the public (i.e. road users) are responding to RTA’s efforts aimed at providing express, effective and safe mass transit services,” added Al Ali.
“To ensure a smooth flow of other vehicles on the Street, the RTA has designated a part of about 20 metres of the Street as a safe distance (Grace Distance) nearby exit points, turns and drop off areas to enable motorists turn to get out of this lane.”
“The Order No (1) for 2010 regarding the use of dedicated lanes on Dubai streets has specified vehicles allowed to use these dedicated lanes as: public buses, taxis, police vehicles, civil defence vehicles, and ambulances serving emergency cases.
“Vehicles for individual are only permitted to use these lanes to access or exit subsidiary streets,” he explained.
“The enforcement of the Bus and Taxi Only lanes system aims to increase the share of public transit means in the movement of people in Dubai.
“It also targets to ease off traffic congestions, improve the efficiency of on-time bus arrivals, cut the duration of taxi trips, reduce the direct and indirect operational costs of public transit means, and cut carbon emissions polluting the environment.
“The dedicated lanes are considered a successful global practice for encouraging the public to use public transport rather than private transport means and is applied in several cities across North America and Europe,” continued Al Ali.
It is noteworthy that in 2010 the RTA introduced Phase I of the Bus & Taxi Only lanes system stretching about six kilometers covering Al Mankhool Street (from Satwa R/A to Sheikh Rashid Street).
Then, from Al Khaleej Street (from the intersection with Khalid bin Al Waleed Street up to Al Musalla Street opposite to Hyatt Regency Hotel), Khalid bin Al Waleed Street (from the intersection with Al Mina Street to Street 16), and Al Ghubaiba Street (from the intersection with Al Mina Street to Street 12).
In 2011, the RTA embarked on Phase II of the project which covered parts of Naif Street extending one kilometer from Al Musalla Street to Al Khaleej Street, and parts of Ittihad Street extending one kilometre in the direction from Sharjah to Dubai starting from the outskirts of Dubai up to Al Nahda Interchange,” concluded the CEO of Public Transport Agency.