Dubai: The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) yet again defended the Salik toll system and said it is a "successful system by all means".
The remarks were made by senior officials at the RTA in a Ramadan majlis held at the Dubai Press Club on Monday.
RTA had started the road tolls system in July last year by installing two toll gates, one on Shaikh Zayed Road near Al Barsha and the other on Al Garhoud Bridge.
This year, the RTA started the second phase of Salik by installing two additional gates on Al Maktoum Bridge and near Al Safa area on Shaikh Zayed Road despite public complaints that Salik has not improved traffic situation, but made it worse, especially on alternative roads.
Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, who was scheduled to address the majlis, did not attend.
Abdul Mohsen Ebrahim, CEO of RTA's Strategy and Corporate Governance, said Salik is not a magical solution for solving traffic congestions, but it is part of a group of solutions which will help reduce congestion in the long term.
He said there are numbers and statistics that prove the success of Salik.
"The implementation of Salik system led to an increase in the speed level on Shaikh Zayed Road by 30 per cent, while it helped in reducing traffic on Al Garhoud Bridge by 45 per cent. The second phase will enhance these outcomes," Ebrahim said.
"There are traffic congestions on alternative roads after starting the second phase, but within months, these will be distributed on other roads which are not being used much," he said.
Data: Dubai traffic rises 13%
The annual increase in the traffic movement in Dubai amounted to 13 per cent, compared to two to three per cent in European countries.
The annual increase in Dubai population exceeded six per cent, compared to not more than two per cent in many European countries.
There has been an annual increase of 17 per cent in the number of registered cars in Dubai compared to eight per cent in Saudi Arabia and four per cent in European countries.
There has been an annual increase of 28 per cent in the number of driving licences issued in Dubai in the past two years.
More than 3,000 job vacancies await Emiratis once the Dubai Metro is operated on September 9, 2009.
Have your say
Do you think the Salik toll system has improved the flow of traffic? Do you expect it to be more effective as and when other transport projects are introduced? Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the form bellow to send your comments.
This morning, I took the Safa Salik and still managed to get late by 25 minutes to my office at 3rd interchange.And guess what ?? There was no accident in sight!!However there was bumper to bumper traffic !! Salik is a revenue generator for RTA and does no good to the traffic woes of Dubai. In fact it has worsened it !!
Posted: September 17, 2008, 09:26
Salik system is totally a failure and how the officials can comment that it has reduced traffic by 45% on Al Garhood Bridge. I wish the same official was at Al Garhood Bridge the day before yesterday. It took me one hour to reach Garhood Bridge from Abu Dhabi but took me two hours to reach Sharjah from Al Garhood Bridge. Why we are paying when there is no difference between Salik and non Salik.
Posted: September 17, 2008, 08:21
Am really surprised at such comments that the traffic is reduced. Please wait for the holy month of Ramadan to get over and then check the traffic situation. Although traffic has reduced for the past 15 days but it?s not because of Salik, but due to Ramadan whereby most companies work until 2-3'O clock in the afternoon
Posted: September 17, 2008, 07:51
Salik has definitely worsened traffic conditions as people now take much more time than before to reach home. This is due to the fact that not everyone can afford to pay the Salik everyday, twice a day. The Maktoum Bridge gate is just an eyewash as it ultimately leads to the Al Ittihad Road where the non Salik vehicles also come together, so its just a waste of money with the same effect on traffic and time taken.
Posted: September 17, 2008, 05:08
It is not the Salik and increase in cars that is the biggest problem. The new constructed areas have poor plan as well, the Marina has a tonn of skyscrapers with 2 lane roads. When you keep constructing with poor road plans for the future, you will always face uncontrollable traffic.
Posted: September 17, 2008, 03:33
Addition of Salik gates has made life more difficult for everyone, there is total chaos on the roads and it will never be an effective means of controlling transport projects, apart from increase in revenue generated from Salik there is not much of any positive change, the amount of traffic on alternate routes is pathetic, its sad to see commuters stress due to such traffic, this will lead to poor health of the population, authorities need to do something, at least reduce the rates as its eating up allot of the monthly income on top of the increase in cost of living, more and clearer sign boards should be introduced which guides the commuters to other alternatives routes used infrequently currently
Posted: September 17, 2008, 01:30
I don't know when they will wake up or feel guilty for what they are doing to the whole population of Dubai including nationals and expatriates; I wish to see them stuck in the traffic they caused and created by their wrong analysis and plans. I personally feel they are about to destroy Dubai image as an attractive city to live in if they continue this way.
Posted: September 17, 2008, 01:24