Dubai: From a top airline or a rent-a-car firm to a special needs institution or a school, the green wave in the transport sector seems to have spread across the board.
A silent green revolution is currently under way in schools, the private sector as well as at the government level as more organisations are adopting eco-friendly transport means across the country.
The trend is reflected by an increasing participation in the Dubai Awards for Sustainable Transport (Dast).
The sixth edition of the Roads and Transport Authority’s annual award was held on Tuesday, with participation from more than 100 entities, up from 28 just a few years ago.
“The award is serving its purpose of encouraging companies and organisations to invest in sustainable transport. The trend is definitely catching on, with more people trying out innovations and projects to improve efficiency in mobility and reduce emissions,” said Mohammad Abu Baker Al Hashemi, Director of Strategic Transportation at RTA.
Dast was established by RTA in 2008 under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, to spread the values of sustainability in the transport sector.
This year 14 winners were honoured by Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Vice Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, in seven categories with Emirates airline topping in two categories and Emirates Transport also bagging two awards.
Emirates airline grabbed top honours in the Mobility Management and Environment Conservation categories through their efforts in reducing carbon emissions and efficiency in fleet management.
“The award is really a motivation to do better and a great prize for our efforts. We have been working on projects to reduce carbon emissions from our 1,000 plus ground operations vehicles and we have successfully cut down on 2,000 tonnes of CO2 emission every year over the last four years. We have also worked on consolidating our staff transport services,” said Tony Sembi, Vice President – Central Services at Emirates airline.
Highlighting the positive impact of the award Al Hashemi said: “The award brings various players on a platform which results in exchange of new ideas in innovation. This also helps let people know what the government is expecting in this sector and what are the latest trends.”
Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transport won the second prize in the Mobility Management category for reducing the number of work-related trips of private staff vehicles through initiatives like car pooling, flexitime, etc.
In the Transport Safety Category, DP World topped for its Safe Driving Programme that offered specialised training courses in six languages.
Emirates Transport won the second prize in safety for its annual Award initiative for Traffic Safety and Education in schools.
The third prize in the safety category went to AVIS rent-a-car for introducing a point structure for its drivers.
In the Environment Conservation category Emirates airline topped, while The Gulf Indian High School took the second prize for converting its entire fleet of buses for biofuel use. Third prize in this category went to Arabian Automobiles for bodyshop waste management system, where it streamlined use of paint and reducing its waste.
Emirates Transport won top prize in the School Transport category for its Safe Route to School initiative, which resulted in zero deaths involving its school buses that transport 205,000 students daily throughout the year across the country.
Sharjah Police grabbed the second prize for introducing School Bus Drivers Permit and training initiative, while the third prize in this category went to Al Thameed School for Girls for its Electronic Safety Marathon initiative.
In the Disabled Mobility category, Future Centre Special Needs Abu Dhabi won top honours for helping people with special needs integrate better with society by providing means to ease their mobility.
Sharjah Transport won the second prize in this category for launching Special Needs Standby Taxi.
A special honour was bestowed on Professor Bassam Abu Hijla and Arqafan Nick for their academic research on the benefits of using hybrid taxis in Dubai.