Dubai's RTA urges NYE revellers to use public transport

RTA reveals plan to avoid a repeat of last year's traffic jams.
Congestion, RTA, Traffic, NEWS

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Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced how it will help to ease traffic congestion in the Emirate on New Year's Eve and avoid the severe delays faced by revellers last year. 

An additional 11,000 car parking spaces are being made available to accommodate people going out to celebrate, and a comprehensive traffic plan to control the movement of vehicles and public transport will be rolled out.

Continuous services on Dubai Tram will start from 6.30am on December 31 up to 1.30am on January 2. During celebrations for the Prophet’s birthday the tram service will be from 6.30am on Saturday 3 January to 1.30am.

The RTA is deploying 130 buses to ferry people between these parking spaces and New Year's celebrations at the Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall to ease congestion.

The Red Line of Dubai Metro will offer continuous service starting from 5.30am on December 31 up to 1am on January 2. The Green Line will operate non-stop from 5.50am on December 31 to midnight on January 2.

Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall station however will be closed from 10pm on December 31 until 6am on January 1, 2015 and the pedestrian bridge at Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall station will be closed at midnight.

“This has been done to carry out better crowd management in the area,” commented Hussein al Banna, the official spokesperson for the RTA.

Commuters will be encouraged to disembark at Business Bay station or Financial Centre station, where they can walk to the Downtown area or take a bus free-of-charge, as a dedicated bus fleet will be available at both stations.

Free bus rides will also be provided from Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall metro station to Dubai World Trade Centre, Jafiliya parking area and the parking yard of Al Wasl Sports Club, where additional parking spaces will be made available free of charge.

Maitha bin Adai, CEO of Traffic and Roads Agency, said: "The team has taken all necessary measures to facilitate the traffic movement at Burj Khalifa area during the celebration of the New Year's Day.

"The traffic plan included the provision of additional 11,000 parking spaces, in addition to feeder buses for metro stations, which will be running around-the-clock."

She added that dedicated bus and taxi lanes have been earmarked and called on motorists not use the two express lanes in both directions of Al Saada Street from Dubai World Trade Centre to the Business Bay district.

"We have got a ready and approved plan to control the traffic movement during the New Year's Eve, where the team would play a key role in giving way to vehicles leaving the area after the end of the event."

Of the 11,000 extra parking slots being made available, 1,500 will be at the World Trade Centre, 8,000 at Meydan, 500 at Al Jafliyah, and 1,000 at Zabeel Park.

During the celebrations, public transport in Dubai is expected to carry 820,000 people, with 490,000 expected on the following day.

Maitha urged people to use the metro and public buses rather than private vehicles for the New Year's Eve celebrations.

Last year, nearly 17,000 people who had purchased tickets to Sandance, held on Palm Jumeirah, were unable to access the music festival as transport arrangements did not go to plan. 

Guests were supposed to board one of 75 buses from American University in Dubai for the 10 km journey to The Atlantis hotel, which organisers had promised would take eight to ten minutes.

Instead, thousands of people spent up to seven hours on a bus in one of Dubai’s worst traffic jams. 

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