Sharjah: With the aim of preserving the environment, Sharjah Transport has announced the start of a new project which plans to gradually change Sharjah taxis to environment-friendly vehicles that run on compressed natural gas (CNG).
The project aims at converting 5,000 taxis to CNG. Phase 1, which is set to start soon, will involve the conversion of 1,600 vehicles from regular fuel to CNG contributing to the reduction of 52 tonnes of carbon emissions per year, said Abdullah Al Zari, Director General of Sharjah Transport.
He added that the second phase, which is set to start early 2015, will include the conversion of all Sharjah taxis which involves 3,400 vehicles from three different taxi companies — Emirates, Union and Citi.
The project which focuses on using alternative fuel is a part of the International Association of Public Transport’s (UITP) charter of sustainable development signed by Sharjah Transport in March 2009.
“The project aims to reduce 30 per cent of emissions from car exhausts to protect public health and environmental quality of air in the emirate,” said Al Zari. Al Zari added that phase two of the project also aims to reduce 160 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.
With the number of environmental challenges growing worldwide, Al Zari said that collective efforts of institutions, international and regional bodies as well as local communities are urgently needed to develop possible solutions.
He also pointed out that more environmental initiatives related to transport should be launched as the transportation sector and private vehicles play a role in the contribution of health and environmental problems through pollution.
“Vehicle exhausts produce carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide, hydrocarbons and other harmful gases which were recently classified as carcinogens,” said Al Zari emphasising the need to limit environmental damage.
Sharjah’s natural gas project focuses on using fuel that is clean and environmentally friendly which can dramatically improve the climate, reduce pollution, and conserve natural resources and energy consumption, he added.
Also working to preserve the environment, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced earlier this month that 20 new Toyota Camry hybrid cars that are eco-friendly electric-fuel powered vehicles will be added to the Dubai taxi fleet as a part of a plan to curb pollution.
New look for Sharjah Taxis
Another recent move by Sharjah Transport is the rebranding of taxis in the emirate by unveiling their new identity.
Sharjah Transport officials recently announced that 4,800 cabs in Sharjah will soon be white in color with just a few coloured lines on the sides of the vehicles.
Hoping to execute the project by the end of June, all taxis under the three taxi companies — Emirates, Union, and Citi — will be white with a few simple colours on both sides of the vehicle along with the company’s logo.