The Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), chaired by HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors has recently endorsed the award of a contract for starting the construction of Phase II of Air-Conditioned Bus Shelters Project.
The contract, which covers the construction of 400 air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned bus shelters, has been awarded to Right Angle Media Company on the basis of public-private-partnership (Design-Build-Operate-Transfer Model). The project will be complete by the end of 2017, and will bring the total number of bus shelters to as much as 1295.
Phase II of Air-Conditioned Bus Shelters Project culminates the success of the initial phase of the project, which covered the construction of 895 air-conditioned bus shelters distributed over 656 bus stops. Surveys probing the views of users showed a significant increase in the satisfaction with these shelters amongst bus riders. The project conforms to RTA’s continuous endeavors to achieve excellence & leadership through developing quality projects in the Emirate of Dubai.
“The Air-Conditioned Bus Shelters Project is part of a master plan to leverage the public transport sector along with associated infrastructure in the Emirate with the aim of bringing happiness & comfort to riders especially during the blazing summer season. RTA, through this project, seeks to provide an attractive element attracting people to use mass transit means and then push the share of public transport in the daily mobility of persons in the Emirate from 6% in 2006 to 20% in 2020 and further to 30% by 2030. In 2014, RTA succeeded in raising this rate to as much as 14%,” said Al Tayer.
Al Tayer stated that the new shelters will cover areas in different parts of Dubai on the bases of population density, and feedbacks received from bus riders. Phase II includes the construction of about 50 smart air-conditioned shelters fitted with free internet service, as well as the Smart Café for selling snacks & refreshments and several smart services. It also includes the construction of about 150 shelters featuring the new design of solar-powered shelters involving a creative solution for providing shelters in areas where electric power is not available. These shelters are fitted with solar panels, which will generate electricity enough to power lights of the Bus Stop as well as billboards.
“Providing electricity to power air-conditioned shelters in some remote areas was one of the key challenges confronting planners at the initial stage of the project. Therefore, RTA has worked on ways & means to overcome this issue by developing cracking solutions to power these shelters through solar power technology. The Public Transport Agency embarked on the experimentation and assessment of the use of solar panels to power these shelters.
“Shelters will be fabricated of a reinforced polyester-covered aluminum in order to protect the structures from tough elements. The seats are made of rigorous, low-heat absorption materials for the convenience of users. The protective solar sheets are made of glazed material distributed on the basis of an engineering & technical model preventing the permeation of as much as possible of sunlight to seated users. The solar panels are made of high-quality efficient materials to generate and distribute electricity in such a way enabling maximum exposure & concentration of sunlight to convert it into electric power. LED lights will be used to power billboards to economize on the use of electric power,” said Al Tayer.
RTA has started the initial phase of transforming 100 air-conditioned shelters into smart shelters in cooperation with Right Angle Company. 50 of these smart shelters will be completed this year and the remaining 50 will be completed next January. Accordingly, the total number of smart shelters will rise by the end of Phase II to 150 shelters.
This initiative is aligned with RTA’s strategic goal of bringing happiness to people and encouraging them to use public transportation. It also involves an improvement of the public transport infrastructure in a creative style to make it similar to metro stations, and a transformation to a smart city. The drive also involves improved passenger information systems, and improved service satisfaction with the services of public transport.
The smart air-conditioned shelter offers a wide range of services to bus riders including a free Wi-Fi internet courtesy of Du, NOL card selling & recharging, mobile phone top-ups, payment of bills of government departments, and power-charging of mobile phones. In addition to the Smart Kiosk, the shelter will display passenger information, offer RTA services as well as interactive & promotional ads, in addition to screens displaying information about RTA services, besides the selling of refreshments & snacks.
The uniquely designed crescent-shaped shelters are manufactured of high quality materials, and using paints resistant to heat, humidity and dust. They will also be fitted with modern air-conditioning systems and eight seats custom-made to give added convenience to users. The shelter, which can accommodate 13 to 16 persons, is also friendly to the use of disabled persons, and will be fitted with screens directly linked with the control room of Public Transport Agency in order to transmit information about journeys and routes available.