No sweat: Dubai to get 400 solar bus shelters

No sweat: Dubai to get 400 solar bus shelters

The shelters will be powered by solar panels to generate enough electricity to illuminate the shelter as well as the attached adverting signs.

By Staff Reporter

Published: Mon 29 Jun 2015, 1:14 AM

Last updated: Fri 10 Jul 2015, 6:48 PM

Dubai - The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has launched plans for constructing 400 solar-powered bus shelters in the emirate. The project is the first creative solution for constructing shelters at places where there is no access to electricity.

  These shelters will be powered by solar panels to generate enough electricity to illuminate the shelter as well as the attached adverting signs.

Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA, on Saturday said the project encompasses the construction of 400 additional shelters — air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned — in various parts of Dubai, depending on demand. This will bring the total number of bus shelters to 1,285.

“Phase II of the Bus Shelters Project is part of the RTA’s continuous endeavours to maintain its excellence and pioneering drive through undertaking quality projects in Dubai. It is also part of a master plan to leverage the public transport sector along with associated infrastructure in the emirate with the aim of bringing happiness and comfort to riders especially during the blazing summer season.

“Through this project, the RTA seeks to provide an attractive element enticing people to use mass transit means and accordingly push the share of public transport in the daily mobility of persons in the emirate from six per cent in 2006 to 20 per cent in 2020 and further to 30 per cent by 2030. In 2014, the RTA succeeded in raising this rate to as much as 14 per cent,” said Al Tayer.

The newly-designed crescent-shaped shelters are manufactured of “high quality materials”, including paints that are resistant to heat, humidity and dust.

 “They will also be fitted with modern air-conditioning systems and eight seats custom-made to give added convenience to users. The shelter, which can accommodate 13 to 16 individuals, is also friendly to the use of disabled persons, and will be fitted with screens directly linked with the control room of Public Transport Agency in order to transmit information about journeys and routes available,” Al Tayer explained.

The RTA finished phase I of the project, that saw the construction of 885 shelters at 635 bus stops. Surveys of bus riders indicated a high rate of satisfaction with these shelters, said Al Tayer.

“Providing electricity to power air-conditioned shelters in some remote areas was one of the key challenges confronting planners at the initial stage of the project.

 “The RTA has therefore worked on solutions to overcome it by powering these shelters through solar power technology.”

The Public Transport Agency embarked on the experimental use of solar panels to power these shelters, and the practice will be assessed.

“The RTA is also mulling over the provision of distinctive services to shelters such as ATMs, and vendor machines of soft drinks/newspapers in densely-used shelters,” said Al Tayer.

Environment friendly

Al Tayer pointed that the new solar-powered bus shelters would offer environment-friendly models and a solution for constructing shelters in places where there is no electricity.

“Shelters will be fabricated of a reinforced polyester-covered aluminum in order to protect the structures from tough elements. The seats are made of rigorous, low-heat absorption materials for the convenience of users. The protective solar sheets are made of glazed material distributed on the basis of an engineering and technical model, preventing the permeation of as much as possible of sunlight to seated users.

“The solar panels are made of high quality efficient materials to generate and distribute electricity, enabling maximum exposure and concentration of sunlight to convert it into electricity. LED lights will be used to power billboards to economise the use of electricity.”

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