Al Tayer made this statement in the speech delivered to the Forum held by the Joint Arab-German Council for Industry & Commerce 2012 in cooperation with the Arab-German Chamber of Commerce, Messe Berlin, and the Saudi-German Liaison Office for Economic Affairs with the aim of boosting the partnership and linking business leaders in the GCC and Germany with representatives of specialized transportation companies.
Al Tayer briefed the attendance, which comprised an elite bunch of presidents and executives of transportation authorities as well as Arab businessmen, on RTA strategic plan and its endeavours to provide an excellent infrastructure for roads & transport in support of the Emirate's vision of making Dubai the first 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 Dhs5bn 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 Dhs75bn ($21bn) 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 Dhs44bn ($12.2bn 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).
SafetyThe RTA mapped out a comprehensive program for improving the traffic safety level on the roads of the Emirate with a view to gradually curtailing mortality rates. Accordingly, the number of fatalities plummeted from 22 cases per 100 thousand of population in 2006 to 6 cases per 100 thousand of population in 2011 (74% drop). In protecting the environment from carbon emissions, the RTA phased out old buses, replacing them by buses compatible with the European standards Euro 4 and 5, operated the electrically-powered Dubai Metro, engaged in the pilot operation of hybrid vehicles, experimented the use of CNG-powered abras, and inaugurated the initiative of the Green Bus; which is fueled by biodiesel B05 that contains 5% of recycled edible oil.
Public TransportAl Tayer touched on RTA efforts to upgrade & improve the public transit systems citing that the RTA accomplished the Dubai Metro project, the longest driverless metro project in the world spanning 75 km and comprising 47 stations. It also attended to revamping public bus fleet which grew from 620 buses in 2006 to 1580 buses in 2011, clocking a 155% increase rate, and installed 800 air-conditioned bus shelters throughout the Emirate. Improvement works also covered marine transit modes, which were previously restricted to traditional abras but today include the Water Bus, Water Taxi, and Ferry Dubai besides embarking on the trial run of natural gas-powered abras. Work is up and running in Sufouh Tramway project which extends 14 km and comprises 19 stations and is set to start operation in mid 2014. Thanks to these projects and initiatives, the number of public transport commuters jumped from 163 million in 2006 to 348 millions in 2011; clocking an increase of 113%. The share of public transport in people's mobility (excluding taxis) grew from 6% in 2006 to 11% in 2011, recording in the process 83% increase.
RTA strategic plan 2030 comprises the construction of about 422 km-long metro and tram lines, and over the next ten years the RTA will extend the length of the Green Line by 21 km from Al Jaddaf to the Academic City, and extend the Red Line by 3.5 km from Al Rashidiya Station to Mirdif City Center. RTA is also braced for increasing the number of public buses to 2000 buses and is set to stretch public bus routes to as much as 3000 km in addition to 450 km-long marine transit systems. The RTA is seeking to increase the percentage of mass transit systems in people mobility from 11% in 2011 to 20% by 2020 and push it further to hit 30% by 2030.