Dubai: Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has signed a Dh474 million contract to purchase 373 Volvo SB3 buses, along with a 10-year maintenance contract, in support of Dubai’s mobility plan and to cope with the rising number of public bus riders.
The new buses are compliant with Euro 6 standards, and it will be the first time buses of such a standard will be operated in the region, the RTA announced on Tuesday.
The signing of the contract took place on the sidelines of the UITP Summit in the Swedish capital Stockholm.
Mattar Al Tayer, RTA’s director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors, and Hakan Agnevall, President, Volvo Bus Corporation, signed the contract in the presence of representatives from both the entities.
Al Tayer said: “The procurement of these new buses is part of RTA’s strategy to improve Dubai’s public transport services in the emirate and meet the sustained growth of public transport riders. It serves RTA’s efforts to raise the share of public transport ridership to 26 per cent by 2030. We firmly believe that achieving this target hinges on providing high-quality public transport services at affordable fares, expanding the geographical coverage of public transport network, and boosting the integration of mass transit modes.”
Safety and luxury
“The contract covers the procurement of 373 top-class high-safety Volvo buses fitted with Euro 6 environmental-friendly engines and [are] capable of supporting future technologies and innovations,” he added. “These buses fall under UN Class II Vehicle classification, which allows flexibility in operating buses on intercity routes or long hauls. Buses are compliant with ITxPT system that enables inter-operability between IT systems in public transport, thanks to the availability of bus information database saved in the UAE [UAE Cloud].”
Each bus can accommodate 74 riders and is fitted with interactive touch screens to display information about the journey. Buses are also equipped with the Raqeeb (Driver Behaviour Monitoring) System to track drivers’ exhaustion by using innovative technology to enhance bus safety standards. They also have Rasid (Automated Passenger Counting) System to record the actual number of passengers and match it with the Automated Fare Collection System to prevent fare evasion attempts.
“Buses have Onboard Driver Identity Electronic Authentication System linked with the bus operation system. Buses have comfortable and high-safety seats, safety belts in the family section adjustable to suit all ages, and a smooth design replicating Dubai’s modernity,” said Al Tayer.
“99 of these buses have a unique interior setting them apart from other buses. They have more room for standing passengers, thus increases the total number of riders served, which is a practical solution for short-distance commuting. They are also fitted with interactive touch screens.”
Agnevall said: “We are very proud and grateful for the confidence the RTA once again places in Volvo. This tender was evaluated based on total cost of ownership comparison, including fuel and operational costs, and Volvo came out as the most competitive alternative. The order is a recognition of the value we deliver to the RTA. The Euro 6 Volvo B8RLE is a well-proven platform globally and continues to set the industry standard for fuel efficiency, drivability and life cycle costs.”
Ahmad Hashim Bahrozyan, CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency, said: “During the procurement process, RTA was keen to ensure that these buses are compatible with European Carbon Emission Standards, which are in line with RTA’s efforts to protect the environment and enhance power efficiency. These features contribute to reducing carbon footprint as well as safety and environmental sustainability; which are part of RTA’s strategic goals.”
Bahrozyan added: “These buses have low-entry floor to ease the movement of people of determination. Other features include premium interiors with luxury ergonomic seats and comfort accessories like USB charging, children-dedicated seats, and Wi-Fi service; all of which contribute to offering better transit experience to public transport users.”