Dubai's RTA planning at least 35 more mega projects
by Andy Sambidge
Dubai's transport authority is planning at least another 35 mega projects in the future after spending about $19.8 billion so far in upgrading services in the city, according to its chairman.
Speaking at the International Trade Fair for Transport Technology (InnoTrans 2014) in Berlin, Mattar Al Tayer, chairman and executive director of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said work was progressing on projects related to Expo 2020.
Al Tayer said in a statement that there were more than 35 mega projects envisioned, adding that the RTA will design and undertake transportation projects necessary for Expo 2020.
He said these would include the extension of the Red Line of the Dubai Metro, upgrading roads and junctions surrounding and leading to the Expo site, and sourcing 39 additional trains up to 2020 in order to improve passenger services.
He added that the RTA is also planning to expand the bus network to cover 16 new districts, while improving the service in 19 districts by 2020.
The number of mass transit users soared to 446 million riders in 2013, a 300 percent increase compared to 2005.
On November 11, the RTA will start the operation of the initial phase of the Dubai Tram project, which will initially extend 10km and include 11 stations.
Al Tayer said the tram is expected to lift about 27,000 riders per day in 2014, and is anticipated to grow to as much as 66,000 per day by 2020, adding that phase 2 and 3 of the project are currently being studied.
"The public transportation is the backbone of any city as the population cannot move around smoothly without a convenient and safe transportation system... The investment in the infrastructure is the key driver of the economy, investment and tourism in any city; which is why we notice that countries that haven't taken early action towards uplifting their transportation infrastructure are experiencing huge difficulties that reflect negatively on their economies," said Al Tayer.
InnoTrans 2014 has attrated more than 2,700 firms hailing from 51 countries, including an RTA stand which exhibits smart applications that it offers to users in Dubai.