Dubai: Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, inaugurated on Friday the new generation Al Ghubaiba Bus Station in Dubai and also reviewed several initiatives to improve public transport services in Dubai.
The Roads and Transport Authority also announced five operators to operate trial run of e-scooters in Dubai. Shaikh Hamdan toured Al Ghubaiba Bus Station which is integrated with public transport means, including Dubai Metro, marine transport and taxis. “The bus station has six buildings that offer innovative state-of-the-art public transport solutions. The design of the buildings is environmentally sustainable and meets the needs of People of Determination,” according to Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
A Dubai Media Office press release on Monday says that Al Ghubaiba Bus Station has a total area of 2,452 square metres and has office spaces, customer service areas, retail outlets and restaurants, in addition to 50 parking slots for buses and 48 parking slots for cars. It has a stand for 34 taxis and 60 docking stations for bicycles. The station can handle up to 15,000 passengers per day with an estimated number of 10,500 passengers per day.
Flexible mobility and shared transport
Sheikh Hamdan also reviewed RTA’s projects to improve public bus services, bus stations to serve Expo 2020 visitors as well as initiatives focused on flexible mobility and shared transport.
The RTA is upgrading other bus stations to better serve Expo 2020 visitors. The plan features construction works at 17 stations/stops in places like Al-Ghubaiba, Al Jafiliya and Union Station as well as the bus station serving Etisalat Metro Station.
The RTA will deploy 614 buses and open 23 bus routes and six temporary stops for serving Expo visitors. Two of the six temporary bus stops are located in Dubai Silicon Oasis and the International City. The other four are in the Dubai Maritime City, Palm Jumeirah, Business Bay 1, and Al-Meydan. These projects complement RTA’s efforts to upgrade the public transport infrastructure to encourage people to use them in their daily commute.
Sheikh Hamdan was also briefed about the Mobility Hub model that offers public transport, logistics, cycling facilities and vehicles support services. It encompasses a wide range of transit means that include shared bikes and vehicles, scooters, buses on-demand, autonomous transport and individual mobility means.
Shared transportation in Dubai was also discussed, including Hala ride-hailing, a joint venture between the RTA and Careem with 5,500 vehicles currently registered as well as the smart car rental initiative with 400 registered vehicles deployed by Udrive and Ekar companies. The initial phase of Careem Bike service that has about 780 bikes offered at 78 docking stations was also reviewed.
E-Scooter trial run
Sheikh Hamdan was also briefed on the trial run of the e-scooter project, which will start as early as next week with five operators, including three international companies (Careem, Lime, and Tier) and two local companies (Arnab and Skurrt) that are supported by Dubai SMEs.
The RTA will start the trial-run of scooters in five zones: Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Dubai Internet City, 2nd of December St, Al-Rigga and Jumeirah Lake Towers. According to RTA, these zones have been selected according to specific criteria such as population density, private developments, availability of public transport services, integrated infrastructure, and high traffic safety records.
Expansion of cycling tracks
Sheikh Hamdan also reviewed RTA’s Cycling Tracks Plan 2021, which encompasses the construction of cycling lanes extending 88km across eight districts. Priority has been given to the construction of tracks in three districts, extending a total of 31km.
The first (16km), which extends from Jumeirah Beach, parallel to the existing pedestrian track, passes along Al-Sufouh St before linking with the existing cycling track at the King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud St. The second (7km) runs from the Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard to the cycling track on Jumeirah St in the DIFC district and the 2nd of Dec St. The third (8km) links cycling tracks at Al-Khawaneej and Al-Warqaa through the Sheikh Zayed bin Hamdan Al Nahyan St and Tripoli St.
Sustainable transport model
“Until the commencement of 2020, RTA constructed cycling tracks extending 425km and intends to extend them further to as much as 647km by 2025. This massive infrastructure project realises the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to bring happiness to people and switch to a sustainable transport model characterised by minimal pollution to the environment,” said Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA
“The project is also aligned with the directives of Sheikh Hamdan to make Dubai a bicycle-friendly city that encourages people to practice cycling as a sport. It also forms part of the Dubai Vision 2021, which aims to strengthen the emirate’s position as the world’s most preferred and safest place to live, work and visit,” he added.
Sheikh Hamdan also reviewed an initiative to support youth projects as part of which RTA will offer two free spaces to small enterprises managed by UAE nationals in collaboration with Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development.