RTA overhauls marine transport services

Boost for marine transport in Dubai.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

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Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is boosting marine transport services in the emirate with new water bus routes as well as eco-friendly abras in Al Mamzar.

Electric-powered abras have begun operating at Al Mamzar Beach, Gulf News reports.

Hussain Khansaheb, director of marine transport at RTA’s Public Transport Agency, revealed that the service has kicked off with three abras and the number can be increased depending on the growth in demand for the service.

He commented: “This service is the extension of the heritage abra progamme that has proved successful at Global Village and Downtown Lake. We expect this to be a huge hit at Al Mamzar lagoon as well at it is a popular family destination.”

The service will be available from 10am to 1pm and from 4pm to 8pm. It follows the successful introduction of electric abras at Global Village in 2010 and Downtown Lake last year.

In a major overhaul of the existing water bus services in Deira Creek and Dubai Marina, RTA has introduced new routes as well as made significant changes to the existing routes.

“We have opened two more water bus stations on the Creek at Sabkha and Al Ghubaiba that has allowed us to introduce a route between Al Ghubaiba, Old Souq and Al Sabkha,” said Khansaheb.

The Creek is currently served by one water bus route between Al Seef, Baniyas and Old Souq.

Changes have been made to water bus routes in Dubai Marina as well with the new route running between Promenade, Marina Mall, Marina Walk and Marina Terrace

“We have reduced travel time by joining Marina Walk and Marina Terrace stations together, so that the majority can travel directly. There is a lot of traffic between these two stations,” added Khansaheb.

RTA recently introduced one-day water bus passes for Dubai Marina, which cost Dh25.

“Passenger can hop on and off any time and anywhere in Marina for as many times as they for just Dh25. The passes also contain Dh500 worth of discount vouchers that can be used in restaurants and shops in Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Palm,” he said.

The regular water bus fare at Deira Creek is Dh2 and at Dubai Marina it is between Dh3 and Dh5.

Apart from the abra and water bus, RTA also operates the water taxi and ferry.

Currently, one ferry route is operational from Al Ghubaiba to Dubai Marina and RTA plans to add two more routes by October.

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