This will be achieved via continuous improvement plans for all modes of transport including the Dubai Metro, trams, buses, taxis and marine transport, said a top official. Image Credit: Megan Hirons Mahon/Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai is determined to increase the number of people who use public transport, the figure currently stands at 6 per cent but it is hoped it will be 30 per cent by 2020.

This will be achieved via continuous improvement plans for all modes of transport including the Dubai Metro, trams, buses, taxis and marine transport, said a top official.

"The RTA is attaching paramount importance to mass transportation systems and is keen on upgrading the sector in terms of quality, efficiency and modernity," said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

To achieve its target, he said, the RTA is working to have in place integrated mass transit methods that include buses, marine transport and the Metro with high quality service at low cost.

Initiative

Al Tayer was speaking at a press conference held on Wednesday in Dubai to announce the 59th Transport Congress and Exhibition of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP).

Dubai won the rights to host the conference after a tough competition with Singapore and Melbourne. The event, which is expected to be attended by more than 2,000 delegates from 90 countries and 318 exhibitors from around the world, will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre on April 10 to 14, 2011.

The slogan for this year's conference is Boosting Public Transport Action.

The contract for hosting the event was also formally signed yesterday between the UITP, represented by its secretary- general Hans Rat and Hilal Al Merri, Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Al Tayer added: "Hosting the 59th UITP Congress and Exhibition 2011 echoes the high profile and excellent standing of the Emirate of Dubai at global level, and reflects the confidence pinned by the international organisations in the ability of Dubai to host and stage events of world-class standards."

He thanked the UITP for selecting Dubai as a venue to host this important event.

Strategic plan

"Such a conference will help us learn from experts from around the world to further improve our public transport system," he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Rat hailed the ambitious strategic plan of the RTA which aims to increase the share of public transportation from 6 per cent to 30 per cent by 2020.

He said: "This initiative will make Dubai an ideal city for hosting the 59th UITP Congress and Showcase, and one of the foremost cities that meet the future strategy of the UITP of doubling the public transport share across the world."

"Efficient and sustained transportation are instrumental for stabilising [the] world energy market, minimising the climatic changes, and improving the economic growth and lifestyle of the city. And this can be achieved through easing congestion and assisting mobility to all," he added.

Rat added that public transport is all about community development, thus in order to achieve more effective results five pivotal strategies have to be adopted, namely: urban governance, business culture, investment, customer satisfaction and demand management.

The Congress hosted by Dubai will review the priorities defined by the ambitious strategy envisioned by the UITP for the transportation sector. It will also be a landmark event for the UITP to recognise the achievements made and identify what has to be achieved in order to realise its vision of "Doubling the public transport market share worldwide by 2025."

The Secretary-General of the UITP concluded: "The UITP and the RTA invite all entities engaged in the provision of public transportation to take appropriate action towards enhancing their role in daily mobility, and also call upon all authorities, operators and actors in this line of industry to review their practices, efficiency and attractiveness".