DUBAI - The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is eager to introduce new initiatives ranging from e-programmes to car pooling to make public transport in the emirate fast and safe and the journey comfortable for the passengers.
Essa Al Dossari, Executive Director of the Public Transport Agency of the RTA, elaborated on the recent initiatives pointing out that the RTA launched a taxi-booking service through SMS at Dubai Metro stations on May 3. Further, the authority launched the Despatcher 8 system, the up-to-date technology in the field of operating taxi fleets. The system responds quickly to customers booking a taxi by locating the nearest taxi through the Global Positioning System (GPS).
The Public Transport Agency has created Wojhati programme or Journey Planner, an electronic system that enables the public transport passengers to plan the right route to travel through real time and accurate information to determine the most accessible transport mode according to their location, destination and trip time. A passenger can plan the journey either by using the water taxi, water bus, public bus or Dubai Metro.
“The number of Wojhati users has dramatically shot up to 239,597 in the first half of this year,” Al Dossari noted. The agency has so far installed 2,050 display screens, similar to those on Dubai Metro, on 683 public buses to display bus route and alert passengers about the next bus stop. The agency has also installed 88 monitors at various spots in Dubai Metro stations and some bus stations to display the waiting time for the next transport.
To curb traffic congestion and cut down on traffic accidents, the RTA has launched a website called Sharekni, which means ‘share with me’ in Arabic. Sharekni is a car pooling service through which one can register on the website, www.sharekni.ae, and create a user name and a password.
According to the RTA website, the term Sharekni or car pooling is defined as a shared use of a car especially for commuting to work and often by people who each have a car but travel together to save cost, to reduce driving stress and to promote other socio-environmental benefits. The number of those who have signed up on Sharekni website rose to 16,080 over the first half of 2012. The website has been upgraded to meet the needs of the customers.