Dubai residents saved Dh13bn in time and fuel costs

Almost Dh13 billion in time and fuel was saved as a result of projects and initiatives of Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) in 2013, an increase of 345 per cent in comparison to the almost Dh3 billion in savings made in 2006.

Compared to 6 per cent of the trips made by public transportation in 2006, this share doubled to 12 per cent in 2013, and the RTA strives to achieve a 20 per cent figure by 2020.

These numbers were presented by Abdullah Al Malik, CEO of the UITP MENA Centre for Transport Excellence, (MENA CTE) at the kick-off of the 7-day Leaders in Urban Planning Program in Dubai.

Al Malik gave an overview of the changes in the public transportation landscape since the inception of the RTA, when an annual estimated of Dh11 billion was lost in value of time due to traffic congestion, the fatality rate on the road was 21.9 per 100,000 people and road accidents cost Dh20 million per year.

Car ownership in that time was 541 per 1,000 people, a high rate in comparison to other countries, explained Al Malik. “Higher car ownership is usually associated with a lower public transport mode share.”

Over the years, car ownership is been reduced to 480 per 1,000 people, and one of the objectives of the RTA is to shift the demand to public transport. A lot has changed over the years.

The emirate now hosts 421km in Metro and tram network, 3,000km in bus network and 450km in water transportation routes, Al Malik pointed out. While 31 per cent of public transportation trips are made by metro, 26 per cent is made by bus and 3 per cent by marine transportation.

Surprising is that the majority of public transportation trips are made by taxi, with a 39 per cent share. “The taxi provides with a sense of privacy. It drops you where you need to be and you are alone in the taxi. Furthermore, it is often used to get from and to a public transportation network,” said al Malik.

One of the main achievements is the decrease in the number of fatalities on the road, he explained. In 2012, the number of road deaths was 3.8 per 100,000 people.

Apart from the increase in public transportation options the roads in the emirate have seen considerable improvement, he pointed out. For example, the number traffic signals increased by 76 per cent, the number of pedestrian bridges by 182 per cent and the number of pedestrian tunnels by 54 per cent, while the total length of roads in the emirate increased by 45 per cent to count 12,634km in 2013.

Jointly organised by the MENA CTE and the World Bank, the program gathers transport professionals from around the world to equip them with knowledge of integrated strategic planning and transport management. The programme helps participants develop a structured way of decision making that considers the complexities of urban transport.

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