Sowing the seeds of green in Dubai, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has launched a series of initiatives over the last couple of years that has helped reduce the city’s carbon footprint considerably.

From the Dubai Metro and Green Bus to Hybrid Taxis and electric abras, RTA has delivered projects after projects that are environmentally-friendly but at the same time equally convenient for commuters.

One of the biggest infrastructure and mass transit projects in the region, Dubai Metro is an icon in itself, but among its less known credentials are its green standings.

All Metro stations are designed to reduce energy consumption.

“Design and implementation of the Metro station’s thermal insulation systems take advantage of the movement of the sun and shade to regulate the energy consumed for air conditioning and lighting,” said Adnan Al Hammadi, CEO of the RTA Rail Agency.

The escalators in the stations stop when not in use, while the train itself runs on electricity, the consumption of which is regulated automatically with the changing speed of the trains, helping reduce power consumption.

Dubai’s public transport buses are powered by a type of diesel that has 90 per cent less sulfur content than the normal diesel, which helps reduce carbon emissions considerably.

Not content with that, the RTA recently launched a pilot project called Green Bus that runs on biofuel, derived from recycled cooking oil. The bus also equipped with LED light bulbs, that consume less energy, and uses solar energy for its internal lighting.

“Around 78 per cent reduction of carbon emissions is expected from the Green Bus compared to the normal buses. The use of biodiesel helps cut fuel cost by two per cent, the use of solar-powered LED lamps further reduce overall operation costs,” said Eisa Abdul Rahman Al Dossary, CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency.

The bus also uses recycled tyres, while the materials used for seating and flooring are also recycled.

RTA’s slew of green initiatives also include hybrid taxis and electric abras. The hybrid taxis, powered by a combination of petrol and batteries, were launched in 2007 as a pilot project, which has been given several extensions due its resounding success.

In the marine section, electric abras have been successfully running in Global Village and Madinat Jumeriah, with the authority planning to promote it in other areas as well.

Apart from transport services, RTA’s more than 160 online services that includes registration of vehicles and renewal of driving licences has helped cut road trips by millions of kilometres.

According to RTA figures, use of online services help reduce more than a million kg of carbon emissions annually and helps save more than Dhs3 million.