Flash Forward ... the Future of Travel by Land in the Emirates

Staff Reporter
Filed on April 3, 2009

ABU DHABI — The future looks fast without being furious. Public transportation in the country will take a major leap forward with a Bullet Train zipping at speeds of up to 300 kilometres per hour — from the Saudi Arabia-UAE border to Abu Dhabi city and Dubai.

The bullet train, unveiled on Wednesday as part of the Abu Dhabi Surface Transport Master Plan for 2030, will travel along the emirate’s coastline connecting industrial areas with the city. The train will then travel to Dubai.

Plans for extending the network to the Northern Emirates were not clear on Wednesday.

The Abu Dhabi Surface Transport Master Plan for 2030 also calls for providing Metro, Trams, Ferries and Water Taxis in complete and integrated public transport solution for commuters, according to Khaled Mohammed Hashem, CEO, Department of Transport, Land Transport Division.

“The plan includes setting up of an integrated network of highways, besides a regional commuter train running from Saudi Arabia at 300kph to Dubai,” Hashem was quoted saying by Wam, the official UAE news agency.

The master plan, which will be implemented in five phases, will see development of the metro and tram in its initial three phases.

The work on high-speed train will begin in 2020 and will be completed by 2030 in two phases.

The train network will connect Abu Dhabi city to the outlying areas of the emirate and is a critical component of enhancing regional accessibility to and from Abu Dhabi. There will be three stations in the capital.

The capital city, which has a population of 900,000, is projected to grow to 3.1 million by 2030. The plan aims to discourage the public from using private cars and relying on the environment friendly and sustainable transport system.

However, Department of Transport Chairman Rashid Al Otaiba said authorities would consider imposing a toll on private vehicles entering the capital to encourage reliance on the integrated transport system when it is completed in 2030.

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