Dubai: Salik toll system has not only helped reduce traffic congestion on the busiest highway in Dubai — Shaikh Zayed Road — but has also become one of the major sources of income for the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Gulf News has learnt.
The RTA has collected Dh1.658 billion in about two-and-half years since the introduction of the Salik toll gates in Dubai in July 2007, according to the latest report of the RTA.
The Salik income increased to Dh776 million in 2009 whereas it was Dh669 million in 2008 and Dh214 million in 2007 (six months from July to December).
The RTA report says that the Salik toll system has proved to be a huge success as this has led to easing traffic flow on Shaikh Zayed Road and bridges on the Dubai Creek, which would remain choked with traffic jams before the introduction of the Salik.
The report says that the average speed on Shaikh Zayed Road increased by 30 per cent whereas some 45 per cent of traffic has reduced on the Salik-controlled Al Garhoud Bridge and 30 per cent on Al Maktoum Bridge.
"Motorists can enjoy free flow of traffic on Salik controlled road while they also have the option to use alternative routes if they don't want to pay Salik," said an RTA official. He also clarified that there was no plan to introduce more Salik gates in future.
Dubai was the first city in the region to introduce the ‘Salik' road toll system in July 2007.
Initially, two toll gates were installed one each on Shaikh Zayed Road near the Mall of the Emirates (Al Barsha) and the Shaikh Rashid Road on Al Garhoud.
The RTA installed two more Salik gates one each on Al Maktoum Bridge and Shaikh Zayed Road between the First and Second Interchanges in 2008.
A motorist is charged Dh4 for passing through Salik gate every time. There is a maximum charge of Dh24 per day.
"Salik is a part of integrated solutions that aim to reduce traffic. These solutions comprise road projects and infrastructure; metro systems; public transport and marine transport that encourage the use of public transport to reduce traffic jams in Dubai," Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, said in an earlier statement.
The RTA report says the authority is expected to increase its revenue to Dh5 billion by 2013. Its revenue was Dh1.2 billion in 2006 whereas its annual budget was Dh3.3 billion
The authority's budget for the year 2010 is Dh10.7 billion.
Meanwhile, due to various projects to improve the road network and public transport system in Dubai, the number of deaths per 100,000 people has decreased from 24 persons to 14 persons in 2009 and the aim is to further reduce it to nine person by 2013.
Also, the number of public transport users has increased from 126 million in 2006 to 305 million in 2009, due to the integrated public transport system.
Statistics: Generating cash
- Dh1.658b: RTA collected since the introduction of the Salik
- Dh776m: is the Salik revenue generated in 2009
- Dh4: a motorist is charged for passing a Salik toll gate
- Dh10.7b: is the RTA's budget for the year 2010