Dubai: Are you someone who likes to use public transport in Dubai? Well, you are in for an upgrade. Roads and Transport Authority has announced a new type of bus shelter that takes into account variables such as social distancing. The design, endorsed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is the first batch of a planned 1,550 shelters that will dot the emirate over the next 3-4 years.
Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA, told Dubai Media Office: “The project is being undertaken in partnership with the private sector through Build–Operate–Transfer (BOT) Model. The investor shall cater to the funding of construction and operation of shelters, and share the proceeds of advertisements with RTA under a 12-year contract. Through this project, RTA avails the private sector a long-term investment opportunity and the chance to develop smart and innovative services to users. It also diversifies RTA’s revenues and serves key objectives of Public-Private Partnership (PPP). RTA received six proposals from local and international investors, and four firms passed the technical and financial assessment.”
Why the new design?
“The new design of bus shelters is part of a package of vital projects endorsed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum that bolster the image of Dubai as a perfect city for stable and safe living. The initiative is coherent with the vision of our leaders that calls for adopting the PPP model as a pivotal tool for stimulating the growth and development of Dubai,” said Al Tayer.
How many new bus shelters are there?
There are four bus shelters:
1. A main bus stop near Satwa Roundabout (2nd of December Street), which is used by 750 riders per day.
2. On the Burj Khalifa Boulevard (near the Boulevard Walk); which is used by 250-750 riders per day.
3. Key stop at Al Mustaqbal Street (near Park Towers), which is used by 100 to 250 riders per day.
4. Stop on Al Mustaqbal Street behind Emirates Towers, which is used by 100 riders every day.
What amenities will be available at the stops?
A part of shelters in the main stops will be air-conditioned, parts shaded. Shelters will also have information screens displaying bus network, timetable, service frequency and other information needed by bus riders. There are also spaces for parking bikes as well as ticket vending machines.
There are also special spaces allotted for people on wheelchairs and tracks for visually challenged individuals.
“It consolidates “My Community ... A City for Everyone” initiative of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council, aimed at transforming the entire Dubai into a friendly city for people of determination by 2020. It also marks an endeavour of RTA to add happiness to this community segment,” explained Al Tayer.