RTA fleet
Under the plan, the RTA's marine transit fleet would be beefed up by 32 per cent to reach 258. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Roads and Transport Authority’s (RTA) marine transport network would expand by 188 per cent to span 158km, and the number of scheduled passenger lines would see a 400 per cent upswing to 35 lines under a master plan running up to 2030, said Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors.

Under the plan, the marine transit fleet would be beefed up by 32 per cent to reach 258, and the number of marine transport stations would see a 65 per cent rise to encompass 79 stations by 2030.

“Marine transport is an integral part of the public transport network in Dubai. It ferries about 14 million riders every year and the sector is witnessing a sustained growth in the number of means, stations and riders. The marine sector is expected to expand considerably with the completion of construction works in urban and tourist facilities on both sides of the Dubai Water Canal and other waterfront development projects. Marine transport will be the favourite mobility means for citizens, residents and tourists visiting Dubai relishing the scenic structures and facilities on the shores of both the Canal and the Arabian Sea,” said Al Tayer.

Marine transport ferries about 14 million riders every year in Dubai. Image Credit: Supplied

“In 2020, the marine transport network increased 24km to reach 79km. Moreover, 5 abras from the new generation of wooden traditional abras were deployed to bring the total number of RTA’s marine transport means to 55 vessels,” he noted.

“Despite the undergoing challenges, the ridership of marine transport means last year clocked 8.049 million riders. RTA also started the trial run of five traditional abras powered by Biodiesel 5, which is efficient in recycling waste, reducing gas emissions and conserving the environment. RTA had also launched a new generation of wooden traditional abras replicating the same design of the existing abras with high security and safety standards,” Al Tayer said.

“This year, RTA is intending to open 4 water transport lines extending 10km, which will extend the total length of the marine transport network to 89km. The new lines will link Deira Night Market with Al Ghubaiba Station and the Waterfront Market Station. The other three lines will link Dubai Creek Project with Dubai Festival City Station, Blue Water Station with the marine transport network at the Dubai Marina, and the Heritage Village with Jaddaf Station and Dubai Festival City Station,” he added.