A dedicated bus and taxi lane on Naif Road. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: All dedicated bus lanes in Dubai will soon be monitored by cameras to catch motorists misusing the reserved lane.

Dubai has seven kilometres of bus and taxi priority lanes spread across different parts of the city.

Last year, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) installed APNR or automatic number plate recognition cameras on one of the dedicated bus lanes on Naif road and the project is now being expanded to more dediated bus lanes in other parts of the city.

“We are in the process of installing the cameras on all bus lanes in Dubai. The cameras automatically detect the violating vehicles and post the fines directly to the traffic system,” said Mohammad Al Ali, Director of Planning and Business Development at RTA’s Public Transport Agency.

The cameras identify two categories of vehicles – white-listed and black-listed.

“The white-listed ones are RTA buses, taxis, ambulances, civil defence and police vehicles, which are allowed to use the dedicated bus lanes, while all private vehicles are black-listed and will be penalised upon usage of the dedicated lanes,” added Al Ali.

Motorists are allowed a grace distance of 20 metres for exit and entry from side roads, parking as well as drop-off areas. Vehicles misusing the lane will get a fine of Dh600.

In the first four months after installing the cameras on Naif road, the violations dropped by 63 per cent.

Interestingly, RTA is also working to develop a plan to dedicate more lanes for buses and taxis.

“The implementation plan will commence by end of this year and will extend for two years that will target the high congested areas in Deira and Bur Dubai districts,” Al Ali said.

He said that dedicated bus lanes served as an effective means to reduce congestion in busy areas and promote use of public transport.

“Bus lanes are one of the effective measures to relief congestion in most developed cities. In Dubai, the implemented bus lanes have made a high impact on ease of flow of the public buses and taxis in Central Business District (CBD),” he added.

He added that dedicated bus lanes are a key solution to enhance public transport operations. “Giving priority to the public buses through dedicated lanes saves the journey duration considerably, which also results in saving the resources.”

Currently, Dubai has dedicated bus lanes at several locations in addition to signal priority at Al Ghubaiba bus station.

RTA introduced six kilometres of dedicated bus lanes in Dubai in 2010 on portions of Al Mankhool Street, Al Khaleej Street, Khalid Bin Al Waleed Street and Al Ghubaiba Street.

In 2011, the project covered a section of Naif Street and parts of Ittihad Street in the direction from Sharjah to Dubai near Al Nahda Interchange.