Dubai Metro has eliminated about one billion journeys on private vehicles from its launch date, in September 2009 to the end of 2020, the chief of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said Thursday.

Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors of RTA was speaking at the Dubai International Project Management Forum (DIPMF).

He said the total cumulative benefits of the Metro amounted to Dh115 billion during this time and that it had reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 2.6 million tonnes.

“RTA has launched numerous projects to boost public and sustainable transport and to increase the proportion of journeys made by these modes, including walking, from 30 per cent in 2020 to more than 43 per cent by 2030,” said Al Tayer.

“Besides mass transit means including the metro, tram and buses, other mobility systems include taxi e-hail service, smart car rental (shared transport) service, bus on-demand service, bike and scooter rental services,” he explained.

“The use of smart technologies must also be taken into consideration. For instance, the nol card can be used in paying for purchases made at 12,000 retail outlets, besides entry into Dubai’s various public parks and museums,” stated AlTayer.

Al Tayer was speaking during a session at DIPMF, titled sustainability in mobility projects. He was joined by Anne-Marie Edrak, Minister of Transport of France, and Dr Marc Esposito, a professor at Harvard University.

“The vision of our leader His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, aims to make the Dubai the best city for living and doing business in the world. The Dubai Master Urban Plan 2040 was set and focused on serving the inhabitants and achieving sustainable urban development,” he stated.

RTA has built a plethora of infrastructure projects in record time, without undermining quality and safety.

The portfolio of projects includes Dubai Metro, the longest driverless metro system in the whole world and the Dubai Water Canal Project, which was completed despite facing several complex challenges including the route of the canal intersecting three main roads encompassing 28 traffic lanes.

“The RTA also accomplished a host of vital projects during the period of the Covid-19 pandemic exceeding USD5.5 billion, including Route 2020 for expanding the Dubai Metro, Dubai Intelligent Traffic Systems Centre at Al Barsha, Al Shindagha Corridor including the Infinity Bridge, and Al Khawaneej Corridor,” he explained.

In 2013, the Smart Dubai initiative was rolled out and in 2016, Dubai Strategy for Self-Driving Transport was launched with the aim to transform 25 per cent of total mobility journeys in Dubai into journeys on self-driving transport means by 2030, said the RTA chief.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Transport of France praised the infrastructure of Dubai. “Over the next few years, mobility is poised to experience a rapid transformation like e-shopping. We will see growing numbers of autonomous vehicles and expansion in non-conventional mass transit means. Sustainability means eco-friendly mobility in which transit means are powered by electricity and clean power. It also involves the use of smart technologies in public transport means such as the metro and tram,” said Anne-Marie.

Dr Marc Esposito, Professor at Harvard University, said, “The UAE has gone far and wide in technological transformation in all fields. the country has a clear vision in this regard that merits it to play a key role in the future”

“Over the next 15 years, we will witness a drastic change in mobility means. For example, China has plans to develop new patterns of transport modes powered by clean energy and use smart technology intensively,” he added.

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