x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Dh44bn earmarked for Dubai roads and transport

Metro, tramway, bus and marine networks set for expansion.

DUBAI // The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) plans to spend Dh44 billion in the next nine years to improve Dubai's road and public transport networks.

The RTA announcement came on the second day of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) Mobility and City Transport Exhibition being held at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Abdul Mohsen Younis, chief executive of the Strategy and Corporate Governance Sector at the RTA, said the plan included projects that had already been announced and others that were still in the planning stages.

"We have developed a strategic plan to expand and improve the road and public transportation networks in Dubai by 500km at the cost of Dh44bn," Mr Younis said. "It is expected that the works will be completed by 2020."

Mr Younis said that projects already under way included Al Sufouh Road tramway and the Metro's Green and Purple lines. The Green Line is set to open during the last quarter of this year and will run through Deira and Bur Dubai, parallel to Dubai Creek. The Purple Line is set to open next year and will connect Dubai Airport with Al Maktoum Airport running along Al Khail Road.

"There are also plans to expand the use of marine transport methods and the use of the bus networks," Mr Younis said.

"Over the past five years the cost of upgrades to the road and public transportation networks reached Dh60bn.

"There are plans to work with the private sector to carry out some of these developments. We will be reaching out to the energy sector, airport planning corporations, and will also be looking to build multi-level car parks."

In 2007, there were 760 public buses running in Dubai. Last year there were 1,421, with the number set to increase further in the next few years.

Earlier this month the RTA announced that Dubai hoped to raise US$800 million (Dh2.93bn) by selling future receipts from road tolls to finance infrastructure projects across the emirate. The receipts will be packaged into securities and sold to investors.

Other plans that are being considered include the use of NOL cards, used to pay for Metro and bus rides, as a form of credit card allowing payment for parking and other RTA services.

ealghalib@thenational.ae