RTA revealed that the massive investments of the Dubai Government in improving the infrastructure of roads and transport contributed to saving about AED220 billion (about US$60 billion) in terms of time and fuel wasted through traffic congestions during the period 2006-2020. In contrast, the total investment in the improvement of roads and transport during the same period amounted to AED140 billion (about US$40 billion).
Numbers and Achievements
His Excellency Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), reviewed the elements of excellence in managing infrastructure projects, which form part of the key drivers of the sweeping development and the economy.
“Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, and His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, RTA has achieved mega projects in a record time highlighted by the Dubai Metro project, which had been delivered in just four years, and the Dubai Water Canal project that had been completed in less than three years,”
“We have more than doubled our road network from 8,715 in 2006 to 18,255 lane km in 2020 and increased the number of vehicle bridges and tunnels 5 folds from 129 in 2006 to 844 in 2020. Similarly, we have increased the number of pedestrian bridges and tunnels by 4 times from 26 to 125 around the same time and extended our cycling track network from 9 km in 2006 to 463 km in 2020, and is expected to reach 668 km by 2025.
“RTA’s projects have cemented the competitiveness of the UAE, which had consequently been ranked no. 1 in Road Quality Worldwide for 5 years in a row. RTA’s joint efforts with the General HQ of Dubai Police have reduced road accident fatalities from almost 22 cases to 1.8 cases per 100 thousand during the period 2006-2020 and reduced pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 population from 9.5 to 0.5 between 2007 and 2020,”
Al Tayer commented,
“Environmental sustainability is a key pillar of the agenda of the UAE’s Government, which is the first government in the region committing to the climate neutrality strategy 2050. 22% of global carbon emissions directly result from the transport sector. To support the UAE’s efforts to conserve the environment, RTA has revamped its vision to fit with the future directions of Dubai to become ‘The world leader in seamless & sustainable mobility,”
“Sustainability is an integral part of RTA’s strategies and initiatives launched to conserve the environment and reduce the carbon footprint of the transport sector. RTA developed a roadmap towards zero-emissions public transport by 2050 and its initiatives contributed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 400k tons by 2020,”
In his speech, Al Tayer touched on the efforts of the Dubai Government to achieve sustainable urban development in the context of the human-centric Dubai Urban Plan 2040 aimed to improve the wellbeing of people and make Dubai the best city for living in the world. According to the plan, 55% of the expected population will live within 800 meters of metro stations. It adopts a “20-minute city” concept to allow residents to access 80% of daily services within 20 minutes by walking and cycling. 60% of the Emirate’s total area will be nature reserves and rural areas.
Al Tayer reviewed RTA’s role in adopting innovation to cope with the challenges of designing and constructing mega projects to ensure their timely delivery. Such projects are highlighted by the Dubai Metro project, which has been accomplished in four years, and the Dubai Water Canal, which has been completed despite the complex challenges such as the that the route of the channel crosses over three busy roads comprised of 28 lanes in an area with completed infrastructure and a massive network of utility lines. It required moving 2.2 million cubic metres of the excavated material which was used to create a man-made island at the end of the canal near the beach. RTA adopted an advanced technique in digging the canal and reinstalled the utility network underneath the canal. The canal contributed to improving the quality of Dubai Creek water by 33%.
Al Tayer said,
“RTA is a key partner in the smart city initiative aimed to transform Dubai into the smartest and happiest city in the world. RTA leads the smart mobility drive and undertook a portfolio of projects in support of digitisation. It adopted an artificial intelligence strategy, as manifested in the Intelligent Traffic Systems Centre at Al Barsha, one of the most sophisticated traffic control centres in the world in terms of using smart technologies. It is a key pillar in RTA’s traffic safety strategy and managing the traffic movement across the emirate. It forms an integrated digital platform that uses advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, and the Internet of Things along with the latest communication systems. It links all signalised traffic junctions with the centre. The centre raised the percentage of road network coverage with smart traffic systems from 11% to 60%, which is expected to increase to 100% by 2023. It also reduced fatal accidents by 42%, and the delay time at intersections by 25%.
“RTA manages 190,000 paid parking slots using an integrated centre for parking management. RTA deployed vehicles equipped with digital cameras supported by artificial intelligence and machine-learning technologies capable of scanning more than 10,000 parking spaces per hour, with 99% accuracy, and issuing tickets for violations automatically,”
Al Tayer reviewed RTA’s efforts to implement the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to convert 25% of total mobility journeys in Dubai to smart journeys on driverless means by 2030.
“This strategy differs from other strategies as it includes all public and private modes of transport, such as the metro, buses, marine transportation, taxis and private vehicles, as opposed to numerous cities focusing on a limited number of modes of transportation. In this regard, RTA signed a partnership agreement with General Motors–Cruise to operate GM’s autonomous vehicles to deliver taxi and shared mobility services by 2023, which would make Dubai the first city in the world, outside America, to operate these vehicles,”
Private Sector Partnership
Al Tayer concluded,
“RTA expanded the scope of partnership with the private sector to provide innovative services and new opportunities in the mobility and finance sectors. For example, RTA established Hala, a joint venture with Careem considered the first of its kind e-hailing between a government transport authority and the private sector. It contributed to reducing customer waiting time for taxis from 11.4 minutes to 3.7 minutes."
News Source: Dubai Media Office