A water bus and abra (water taxi) on the Dubai Creek near the Bur Dubai abra station. The RTA is trying to promote use of biofuel and compressed natural gas for public transport. Image Credit: Javed Nawab/Gulf News Archives

Dubai: At least a quarter of pollution from water buses is expected to be reduced as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) pilots green water buses.

RTA has tied up with Lootah Group, which had earlier partnered the authority in piloting the green bus project, to carry out trial runs on water buses powered by biofuel.

The pilot will run for two weeks on one water bus that will be fuelled through a mobile supplying facility at Baniyas marine station to be set up by the Lootah Group.

According to a senior RTA official, bio-diesel, which will be used to fuel the water buses, helps increase efficiency of vehicles, leading to a reduction of fuel consumption by at least 12 per cent.

“We are doing a trial on the water bus to improve its efficiency and reduce CO2 omissions. This project is similar to one we did on buses. We have tied up with Lootah Group to do the trial for two weeks,” Dr Yousuf Mohammad Al Ali, Acting CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency, said.

Talking about the joint venture, Al Ali said the agreement is a significant step in public private partnership and will help develop marine transport to the best of world standards.

He added that after two weeks of trial runs, feasibility studies will be conducted to look into the financial, technical and environmental aspects of benefits of the project.

“Once we are certain about the results we will implement the project permanently on all the water buses which help reduce operational cost as well as carbon emissions,” he informed.

Al Ali said RTA is trying to promote use of biofuel and compressed natural gas in the emirate in its efforts to encourage sustainable transport.