Dubai residential areas to be transport-oriented
Muna Abdul Rahman Al Osaimi, Director Rail Planning and Projects Devolopment, Roads and Transport Authority speaking at the ITP MENA Transport Congress and Exhibition in Dubai.
Dubai - The Union Oasis Project over the Union Metro Station is the first TOD in Dubai and developers are looking to build similar projects along the Green Line.
Transport-oriented developments or TODs may soon become a necessity in Dubai. Property developers are now looking at developing residential and commercial complexes around existing and upcoming metro stations and easy-to-access public transportation options, revealed senior officials at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
The Union Oasis Project over the Union Metro Station is the first TOD in Dubai and developers are looking to build similar projects along the Green Line. Promising areas include the areas along Salah El Din Metro Station and the Al Nahda Metro Station.
Speaking at a session titled 'Public Transport and Smart City Development' at the UITP MENA Transport Congress and Exhibition in Dubai on Tuesday, Muna Abdul Rahman Al Osaimi, Director, Rail Planning and Projects Development at the RTA, stated that several future developments in Dubai will follow the TOD model. Muna said: "TOD developments are a mixed use of residential and commercial area designed to maximise use of public transport. These developments will essentially link transport hubs and business centres." She added that this model has worked successfully in European countries and the RTA is working alongside developers to make it a reality in Dubai as well.
"Developers understand the benefits of developing properties near the metro stations on Shaikh Zayed Road. The plans also fall in line with the Expo 2020 urban development strategy," added Muna.
"These projects result in a three-fold increase in public transport ridership. Which is the need of the hour," she added. The Union station is one of the busiest metro stations in Dubai; last year there were 9 million passengers who used the station and it is also the main interchange for the Green and Red Lines.
As per international standards, TODs require a maximum of 800 metres walking distance to the nearest public transport stations. However, given the weather conditions in Dubai, Al Osaimi stated that the maximum walking distance to a nearest metro station is only 600 metres. Muna stated that the concept will discourage the use of cars and provide limited parking provisions. "The maximum walking time to public transport hubs should not exceed 10 minutes in Dubai," added Muna.
Jean-Marc Desvaux, head of marketing and communications, EasyMile (Omnix International Partner) - Singapore, spoke about the importance of more shared driverless transportation options. He stated that autonomous cars can be used to transport the workforce from their residences to business districts. "Unfortunately, cars remain to be the only door-to-door solution for urban mobility," said Desvaux. He added that cars add to congestion and pollution and are not always economically viable. "Also, walking is not always an option," he said. Desvaux propagated the use of unique multi-model transport system wherein governments should encourage the use of shared transportation systems. He also advocated the use of mobile applications, and shorter stops between bus stops to facilitate transport. - firstname.lastname@example.org