Dubai: Dubai has been turned into a public transport-friendly city from a car-oriented emirate, thanks to the public transport and road infrastructure development projects carried out by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in the past six years.

While the RTA marks its sixth anniversary and free public transport day today for the second consecutive year, it has announced the completion of 90 per cent of its roads, traffic and public transport projects at a cost of more than Dh60 billion while more than Dh44 billion will be spent on more projects by 2020.

Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director, RTA, stated that the unqualified support accorded to the RTA by the wise leadership of the emirate was the driving force of the achievements made by the RTA in the past six years.

Jump in commuters

With free rides offered in the Dubai Metro, buses and water bus for Nol card users, RTA anticipates a 30 per cent jump in the number of commuters today. "We urge the public to join hands and embrace public transportation," Al Tayer said.

During the last six years, the RTA managed to increase the road network by 29 per cent as the length of the roads network in the emirate has increased from 8,715km in 2005 to 11,209km in 2010. The number of bridges has increased from 108 to 319.

By upgrading mass transit systems RTA managed to improve the percentage of trips made by mass transit modes from six per cent in 2005 to 10 per cent in mid-2011, and is seeking to increase it further to 30 per cent by 2030.

"We have already established reliable infrastructure, but changing the culture is the most difficult aspect. This will happen with time, through constant efforts to improve awareness and facilities," he said.

The efforts to enhance road traffic safety carried out by the RTA in collaboration with Dubai Police General HQ have yielded a reduction in the traffic mortality rate from 21.7 cases per 100,000 of population in 2007 to about 12.7 cases per 100,000 of the population last year.