Sharjah: A master plan to radically improve traffic and transport in Sharjah is expected to be ready by August 2015.
It was revealed yesterday (Monday) that the Sharjah Directorate of Public Works and Sharjah Transport has awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to develop the master plan over the next 22 months.
The plan will present a comprehensive transport strategy and schemes for implementation until 2030, also covering existing problems and short-term solutions.
Sharjah is working to ease congestion and expand public transport, but the master plan aims to also consolidate efforts to meet Sharjah’s mobility needs for the next two decades.
The plan development contract, worth $4 million (about Dh14.6 million), has been awarded to the US-headquartered firm AECOM, a global provider of management support services.
The master plan has been variously reported in the media as the Sustainable Transport Master Plan, Sharjah Comprehensive Transport Plan, and Sharjah Transport Master Plan.
The contract follows the September launch of a two-month survey seeking feedback from residents and motorists on transport and traffic issues.
“AECOM’s Strategic Planning and Advisory team will work on extensive data collection, analysing specific problem areas, identifying opportunities and constraints, and developing a scheme appraisal framework,” AECOM said in a media release.
It added that the study will eventually lead to “an improvement in the mobility of persons, freight and accessibility to services and goods; slow down of the growth of car traffic through and within Sharjah boundaries by developing an integrated transport policy and fostering modal shift towards public transport and collective modes; respect for the environmental concerns and support the economic growth of the emirate for its residents”.
Further details were not immediately available from AECOM yesterday (Monday).
Meanwhile, the two-month survey aims to analyse when and where people travel to. It will focus on residential areas, highways, car parks, work places, malls and bus stations.
The survey will include 4,200 household interviews which will represent three per cent of the total number of households in Sharjah. The 15-minute interviews will be carried out by five teams across a sample of households from every area in Sharjah and will include information such as the time of travel, mode of travel, and start and end locations.
Roadside interviews, another part of the survey, will also take place on seven main roads where drivers will be asked a few questions while they wait in traffic.
The data will also help to determine transportation preferences, peak times for vehicle use, and preferred routes and modes of transportation.
During the two-month period, officials urged the public to participate when approached by surveyors to enable the teams to obtain a higher number of accurate responses.