Sharjah taxi fleet to switch to CNG

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Sharjah taxi fleet to switch to CNG

SHARJAH — Sharjah Transport is soon to start converting its 4,800 cab fleet to compressed natural gas (CNG) instead of using regular petrol, in a bid to protect the environment, rationalise energy consumption and preserve natural resources.

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Published: Wed 27 Mar 2013, 11:49 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:30 AM

As many as 1,600 cabs of Sharjah Taxi will have CNG-powered engines within two years. — Supplied photo

According to a senior official, the move is in line with the sustainable development agreement of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP, L’Union internationale des transports publics) concluded in March 2009.

Director-General of Sharjah Transport Abdullah Al Zari on Wednesday morning said the mega project will be carried out in two stages: “As many as 1,600 cabs of Sharjah Taxi will be switched to CNG within two years.”

“The remaining 3,200 cabs of the other cab franchise companies (Emirates, Union and Citi) will be (converted) to gas starting from 2015,” he said.

Indicating that special centres will be built for converting all the cabs in the city into0 gas consuming vehicles, Al Zari confirmed to Khaleej Times that one of the filling stations is almost complete: “This is at Al Azra area, close to Sharjah Transport headquarters.”

Al Zari told Khaleej Times that three stations will be built and noted that the project is aimed at cutting fuel fumes and carbon emissions by 30 per cent to protect public health and ensure a quality air environment in the emirate.

“Studies show that Phase-1 of the scheme (1,600 cabs) will help drop annual carbon dioxide emissions by 52 tonnes in comparison to 160 tonnes by the end of Phase-2 of the project (4,800 cabs).” Al Zari said CNG, the cleanest burning fuel, requires less vehicle maintenance, and ensures a longer engine life: “CNG is the most suitable alternative to petrol, as it does not release carbon dioxide, and thus, prevents further global warming.”

He then noted that all the local, regional and international bodies concerned need to better coordinate and work closely to confront the increasing environment challenges: “It has been proved that transport sector makes the situation worse and adds more serious health and environment problems with carbon monoxide and dioxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbon compounds, sulphur dioxide and other harmful emissions, which are mostly carcinogenic.”

Meanwhile, Sharjah Transport, in a bid to develop its cab fleet, has bought 511 new Camry and Innova taxis: “The new cabs, worth Dh38 million will increase Sharjah Taxi cars from 1,099 to 1,599,” Al Zari said.

Elaborating, Yusuf Al Hammadi, Head of Purchase Section, said Al-Futtaim Motors will provide Sharjah Taxi with 411 Camry cars and 100 Innova; 2012 and 2013 Models.

“The vehicles, to be supplied in five stages with effect from next month, will be finished by May 2014.”

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