People using the Nol transport card will be able to use them in grocery shops or hypermarkets in new RTA plan. Image Credit: PANKAJ SHARMA/Gulf News

Dubai: Residents will soon be able to use their Nol transport cards to pay for transactions in supermarkets, a senior Roads and Transport Authority official revealed on Wednesday.

Speaking at the Future Cities Conference on Wednesday at CityScape, Abdul Mohsin Younes, chief executive, strategic and corporate governance sector, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), explained that the expansion plans of the Nol card will be expected to be in use in the next few years.

“Within the next few years, passengers using the Nol transport card will be able to use them in groceries or hypermarkets. They will be required to top up their card at use it at their own convenience, whether it is for buses or water taxis or even at the supermarket,” said Younes.

He also pointed out that the service of using the Nol card as a debit card is determined by the willingness of commercial establishments, and it is up to businesses to decide whether they want to install the necessary equipment to carry out such transactions.

During the conference, titled, “RTA experience in sustainability strategy,” Younes noted that Dubai is acknowledged as the first global city of the modern Arab world, and this achievement was made partially due to integrating the public transport system, implementing a comprehensive road safety plan and striving for a safe and environmental sustainability plan.

One of the main challenges the RTA faced was the traffic congestion in the emirate when aiming to achieving sustainability, and the number of road accident fatalities have reduced from 21.9 per 100,000 per population in 2006 to six per 100,000 in 2011.

“With our intensive plans, we were also able to reduce the average delay in trips by 15 minutes per trip a day in 2005 to 5.5 minutes to 2011,” Younes said, adding that road accidents directly cost more than Dh800 million a year on the government.

He further pointed out that as part of the emirate’s road expansion and integration plan, the RTA aims to construct 120 interchanges, nine new roads and increase the number of lanes across the creek on both sides to 100 lanes in 2020.