Abu Dhabi: Ambitious goals for public transport
By 2016, five percent of all people who commute to work in Abu Dhabi will ride the bus, cutting hundreds of thousands of car trips per day. This will rid the air of hundreds of metric tons of carbon dioxide every year, a senior official said yesterday.
“By 2030, the emirate’s mass transport system will be more than sufficient to serve all commuters, leaving wider spaces for those who would prefer to walk or ride their bicycles to work,” Saeed Mohammad Al Hameli, general manager of the Abu Dhabi Department of Transport, said.
Al Hameli was speaking after briefing the media on the third Mena Congress of the International Union of Public Transport, to be held in Abu Dhabi from March 26-28. “Our strategies are aimed at achieving zero emission levels in terms of traffic pollutants, encouraging reliance on public transportation and discouraging the so-called car culture which dominates the UAE, while acting in a proactive and responsible manner to ensure environment and transportation sustainability in Abu Dhabi,” Al Hameli said.
The public transport network in Abu Dhabi conducted 64 million passenger journeys last year and plans to raise that figure to 76 million this year. The public bus network in the capital is in for an ambitious expansion that will see the current 79 routes increased to 120, and bus stops every 300 metres this year.
To meet its target of 76 million bus journeys, the Department of Transport will add 150 buses to its fleet, which will be better equipped for people with special needs. As many as 380 air-conditioned bus shelters will also be added to the existing 81 and almost 50 kilometres of bus lanes will be integrated into the main roads. The capital has released plans for a low-carbon public transport network under its Abu Dhabi Plan 2030, which includes a Metro system, regional rail, a comprehensive tram network and a ferry link to Dubai.
The Abu Dhabi Metro, which will run approximately 131 kilometres and be supported by tram and bus feeder services, is set to be operational by 2016-17. Besides serving the projected increase in the population, the Metro will connect the proposed Central Business District with Sowwah Island, Reem Island, Saadiyat Island, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi International Airport and Masdar, the Capital City District, Emerald Gateway, Zayed Sports City and Adnec.
Hosted by the Department of Transport (DoT) in Abu Dhabi, the International Union of Public Transport (UITP) will holds its third Middle East and North Africa (Mena) Congress from March 26 to 28 at the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
For the first time in its 125-year history, the UITP will also simultaneously hold its First International Taxi Conference, aiming to develop the offering of taxis in the region, integrate it with other modes of public transport, create a competitive operational environment for taxis and to raise the standard of this mode of public transport, Abdullah Saleh Nasser, head of the UITP Mena Office, said.
The Congress is held under the 8G’ concept, which is modelled on eight generations’ strategies which form the building blocks to deliver world-class public transport systems that meet the transportation needs of future generations in the Mena region.
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