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RTA turns 15: How commuting has become a breeze in Dubai

Staff Report

Published on October 27, 2020 at 17.47

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Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is set to mark its 15th anniversary this Sunday, November 1, coinciding with the 11th Public Transport Day. And what better way to celebrate than to look back on the last 15 years and see how the emirate has turned its public transport system into one of the world’s best. Here are 10 key achievements and milestones that the RTA has crossed since it was launched in 2005, as explained by Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA.

1. Metro, Tram, public buses and marine transport services — you name it, Dubai has got it.

Improvements in Dubai’s public transit networks contributed to increasing the share of public transport in people’s mobility from six per cent in 2006 to 18 per cent in 2019, Al Tayer explained.“Dubai Metro, which has completed 11 years, lifted about 1.6 billion riders and achieved exceptional performance indicators in the punctuality of journeys, clocking a dazzling 99.7 per cent rate. The Metro has achieved a high assessment rate over 80 per cent in the safety and security systems by the UK’s Office of Rail & Road.”Dubai’s convenient public transport system has become its edge in hosting global events like Expo 2020.
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2. World-class highways make road trips and daily commute a whole lot easier wherever you live in the city.
By the end of 2019, the total length of Dubai’s road network increased to about 18,000 lane-kilometre compared to 8,715 lane-kilometre in 2006. Similarly, the number of pedestrian bridges and underpasses increased sharply from 13 bridges in 2006 to 119 pedestrian bridges and underpasses in 2019.
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3. Traffic safety has always been a top priority.<br>The RTA’s efforts to improve traffic safety has slashed road accident-related fatalities from 22 cases per 100,000 of the population in 2006 to only 2.3 cases per 100,000 of the population in 2019.FB2WMK United Arab Emirates, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd, traffic and new high rise buildings along Dubai's main road
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4. Thanks to its mega projects, the UAE ranked No. 1 in global indices on highway systems.<br>These improvements on Dubai roads and public transport helped rank the UAE as the top country in terms of the quality of roads worldwide from 2013 to 2017. It is also No. 1 in the satisfaction index for roads and highways system in 2020.
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5. Keep pedalling, Dubai is fast becoming a bicycle-friendly city.<br>The total length of cycling tracks in Dubai increased from just 10km in 2006 to as much as 425 km in 2019. Now the RTA is planning to extend it further to as much as 688 km by 2025, linking Dubai neighbourhoods and other development areas.
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6. The RTA is always just one phone call or a few taps away.<br>The RTA prioritises customers and is determined to keep their experience improving all the time. It offers 317 services via a wide range of channels including the website (, smart apps, call centre, 7 customers happiness centres and smart kiosks.
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7. Waiting time for taxis slashed from 12 to 3.5 minutes.<br>The RTA has recently developed a package of services to enhance commuters’ experience, including the launch of Hala e-hailing app, which significantly cut waiting time for cabs.
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8. A plan is in place to roll out smart self-driving journeys.<br>The authority is making every effort to keep abreast of the government’s direction of transforming Dubai into a smart, innovative and sustainable city that uses the cutting-edge telecommunication and digital technologies. With the Dubai Self-Driving Transport Strategy, the RTA seeks to convert 25 per cent of total mobility journeys in the city into smart self-driving trips by 2030.
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9. All is set for Expo 2020.<br>Al Tayer confirmed that RTA had accomplished most roads and transport construction projects listed under the master plan for hosting Dubai Expo 2020. “Last July, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, officially inaugurated Route 2020 for extending the Red Line of Dubai Metro 15 km from the Jebel Ali Station to the site of Expo 2020.“In the first quarter of this year, RTA completed all phases of Roads Leading to Expo Project,” he added.Now, the authority is currently working on the construction of permanent bus stations/stops to serve Expo 2020. It covers 17 stations/stops including the recently opened Al Ghubaiba Station.
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10. A new vision for a smart city.<br>To build on its successes over the past 15 years, RTA has updated its vision and strategic drive to align them with the UAE Centennial 2071, UAE National Agenda, Eight Principles of Dubai, 50-Year Charter, Dubai Plan 2021, and the deliverables of RTA’s innovation lab: RTA Future 2040. Accordingly, the rejuvenated vision has become: ‘The world leader in seamless & sustainable mobility’.
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