Dubai: The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced that it will tentatively start the enforcement of the automated offence reporting system against vehicles in breach of the Bus and Taxi Dedicated Lane Code from the first of January up to the end of March 2015, where a fine amounting to 600 dirham will be recorded against offending vehicles.
Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) , said: “In the first stage, the RTA will start implementation of the system on the dedicated bus and taxi lane at Naif Street in a sector extending about one kilometer, serving nine routes and accommodating as much as 36 buses during a peak hour. The RTA will install seven surveillance cameras along the lane to monitor vehicles in breach of the system. Offences will be reported either automatically through surveillance cameras or manually through Dubai Police patrols.
“Order No (1) for 2010 regarding Dedicated Lanes on Dubai Roads has specified the vehicles permitted to use the dedicated lanes; which are public buses, taxis, Dubai Police vehicles, Civil Defence vehicles and ambulances vehicles attending to emergency cases. Private vehicles are permitted to use the dedicated bus lane only in the event of entering or exiting subsidiary roads,” said Al Tayer.
“The enforcement of the offence code on dedicated bus and taxi lanes is intended to increase the share of public transit means in the movement of people in the Emirate of Dubai, ease traffic congestions, improve the efficiency of on-time bus arrivals, cut the duration of taxi trips, reduce the direct and indirect operational costs of public transit means, and curbing carbon emission polluting the environment. The dedicated lanes are part of successful global practices enticing the public to use public transport rather than private transport means and is applied in several cities across North America and Europe,” added Al Tayer.
RTA Chairman of the Board and Executive Director concluded his statement by calling on motorists to abide by the rules and avoid driving private vehicles on bus priority lanes.
In 2010 the RTA introduced Phase I of the Dedicated Bus and Taxi Lanes project stretching about six kilometers covering Al Mankhool Street (from Satwa R/A to Sheikh Rashid Street), Al Khaleej Street (from the intersection with Khalid bin Al Waleed Street up to Al Musalla Street opposite to Hyatt Regency Hotel), Khalid bin Al Waleed Street (from the intersection with Al Mina Street to Street 16), and Al Ghubaiba Street (from the intersection with Al Mina Street to Street 12). In 2011, the RTA embarked on Phase II of the project which covered parts of Naif Street extending one kilometer from Al Musalla Street to Al Khaleej Street, and parts of Ettihad Street extending one kilometer in the direction of Dubai starting from the outskirts of Dubai Emirate up to Al Nahda Interchange.
Surveys and studies conducted by the RTA revealed that 77% of respondents wish the practice of dedicated bus and taxi lanes to be widened to cover other streets in Dubai. 75% of them indicated that the project contributed to reducing the journey time, while 86% of bus drivers were satisfied with the project as it had cut short the journey time as well as increased the ridership of mass transit means.