• Approximately 8.7 million transactions completed
  • 99.9% of transactions carried out online
  • 94% customer satisfaction rate in Q4 of 2021
  • 53.3 million public bus passenger trips in 2021, an increase of 27% compared to 2020
  • 64 million taxi passengers on 36 million trips
  • Roll out of phase one of self-driving taxis
  • 99% satisfaction rate for Darb users
  • Increased awareness campaigns in coordination with The Joint Committee for Traffic Safety

Abu Dhabi - The Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) of the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) in Abu Dhabi, recorded outstanding developments in serving its customers and Abu Dhabi Emirate’s community in 2021, especially in customer satisfaction and happiness with the quality of services offered in different transport sectors. ITC announced the completion of 8,683,286 transactions in 2021, while the service level performance reached 95.15%. ITC also revealed that 99.9% of the overall service transactions offered to customers and public transport users were completed online. These figures reflect the success of ITC’s efforts to develop an easy and safe transportation environment in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. ITC noted that the overall customer satisfaction in 2021 reached 91.5%, increasing in Q4 to 94%, as a result of ITC’s efforts to achieve the highest levels of happiness for customers and the community through the quality, speed, and ease of access to the services it provides.

In addition, ITC was awarded 2nd place at the level of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi for its quality of serving customer calls through the Abu Dhabi government contact centre, with a compliance rate of 99% for the level of service in responding to customer calls on the government contact number, 800555.  This was achieved after the ITC contact centre received 1.3 million calls during the year, 500,000 of which were for support, and 800,000 calls were to book a taxi.

The “Darb” toll gate system, which was launched by ITC in 2021, had a total of 1.8 million vehicles registered, while the total number of accounts for individuals and companies reached 792,357.  Fee exemptions were granted to a further 19,500 vehicles. The number of vehicle movements on bridges during peak hours reached over 3,449,523, which represents 22.5% of the total number, of movements which stood at 15,292,437. A satisfaction rate of 99% was registered by “Darb” service users in 2021.

As part of ongoing efforts to develop its services and raise its standards, ITC launched new services in 2021 that ease mobility and improve the comfort of its customers. In 2021, ITC launched a new service allowing individuals and companies to obtain limited-term public parking subscriptions, where vehicles are allowed to park repeatedly by standard parking in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain without having to pay fees at the time. In addition, the ITC launched 27 services to be delivered through the "Tamm" Platform, bringing the number of ITC services to 60 in total, which are 100% digitally available on the platform. The platform enables the public to access government services easily wherever they are, and at any time, through a secure and integrated digital platform, based on the ITC’s digital transformation strategy for services and in support of the digitisation process adopted by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Improving public bus services

As part of ongoing efforts to improve the quality of public transport services and make them more accessible and appropriate for the needs of the community, ITC added 49 new buses to its fleet in 2021, which increased the overall fleet of public transport buses in the Emirate to 818; 583 of which operate in Abu Dhabi city, 165 in Al Ain city, and 70 in Al Dhafrah region. The entire fleet is equipped with state-of-the-art technologies with fuel efficiency and environmentally sustainable specifications. Also, in 2021, ITC reactivated operations of 3 intercity bus services between Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Liwa, and Al Ruwais on a route network of 645 kilometres, which had been temporarily postponed due to COVID.

ITC revealed that the number of bus passenger trips in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi increased during the year by 27% to a total of 53.3 million passenger trips.

In addition, as part of ITC's pursuit of maintaining a well-developed and sustainable infrastructure, it installed 78 new bus shelters in the emirate, bringing the total number to 517.

High requests for “Bus on Demand” services

After a positive response from passengers, ITC made its “Bus on Demand” service available on Yas Island in 2021, to enrich passengers’ experience and diversify the transport options for visitors and residents on the island. For the service, ITC operates minibuses which are available for passengers on demand, using the "Abu Dhabi Link" app. The service provides comfortable and smart transport solutions between a range of shopping and recreational facilities, including hotels, Ferrari World, Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Mall, Yas Water World, as well as various residential neighbourhoods such as Al Zeina, Al Muneera, and Al Bandar.

In addition, ITC revealed that since the launch of the “Bus on Demand” service, the number of passenger trips using it reached 237,000, while the total number of individuals that downloaded the “Abu Dhabi Link” app reached more than 31,000.

An increase in smart taxi bookings

ITC said that 64 million passengers used taxis in 2021, taking 36 million trips in 6,390 vehicles from eight operating companies. This is an increase of 14% over the trips made in the previous year. Meanwhile, as part of its quest to reduce carbon emissions, ITC announce that the number of low-carbon emission vehicles operating as taxis in the emirate reached 4,671.

Online bookings for taxis in 2021 accounted for 82% of the total number of bookings, and a total of 2.7 million bookings were made through a range of channels. The “Abu Dhabi Taxi” app contributed to the increase in bookings through smart devices as it offers special features that allow users to track the taxi’s estimated arrival time and additionally gives passengers the ability to pay electronically for all taxis in the emirate.

There were around 1.9 million taxi-fare transactions in 2021 via e-payments, with an accumulated value of about AED 51.30 million.  ITC included the option to pay easily, securely, and comfortably for taxi fares through PayBy app, in addition to enabling payment via Apple Pay and Samsung Pay on smart phones. The ability to pay a tip for the drivers is an additional feature of using e-payments for taxi fares. Taxi services achieved a 97% satisfaction rate in 2021.

Developing smart transport services

In 2021, Abu Dhabi witnessed a major turning point in smart transport solutions represented by the launch of phase one of operations for the emirate’s first electric self-driving taxi, on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island, under the brand name, “TXAI.” The initial phase consisted of 5 smart vehicles and included 9 stops at different locations on Yas Island, creating a strong foundation for the route to adopting smart transportation in the emirate. During the trial phase, community members were able to use this service free of charge through the “TXAI” app, available via Google Play and the Apple Store.

The launch of the service came after an agreement was signed between the Department of Municipalities and Transport, and Bayanat, a subsidiary of the G42 organisation, in cooperation with Miral, the Yas Island development and management company, to develop and execute the initiative in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which comes under the emirate’s plans to cooperate with the private sector to develop self-driving transport solutions in Abu Dhabi.  

The first phase of the self-driving vehicles, which took place over a month, attracted the interest of 2,700 passengers who booked and tried the service. The test vehicles have driven 16,600 km in self-driving mode. The second phase of the initiative involves an increase in passenger numbers by operating more than 10 smart vehicles in different locations of Abu Dhabi. ITC noted that during the first phase of the initiative there were no traffic accidents or complaints recorded regarding passenger safety.

To increase the number of partnerships with the private sector to support the efforts in developing smart innovative transport solutions, ITC signed cooperation agreements with several institutes and universities in 2021 to develop and support smart transport innovations through conducting studies and research in the field. This cooperation resulted in the activation of self-driving passenger vehicles in Masdar city, Khalifa University, and UAE University, to support smart transport innovations.

As part of ongoing support for the intelligent transport sector in the emirate, and as part of efforts to provide a range of integrated and sustainable transport solutions that meet public demand, Uber and Careem operated 1,257 vehicles in 2021, carrying out about 1.41 million trips in 2021; an increase of 46% compared to 2020.

Safety of the school transport sector is a top priority

The 2021 also saw an update to the general framework of professional standards and requirements for school bus drivers and supervisors, the adoption of the consensus documents by the relevant government authorities, and the approval of the Standard Technical Committee of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, in addition to the development of an integrated online system to enable the issuance of school transport permits, improve the quality of services provided in this sector, enable the relevant companies to obtain permits, and facilitate access to school transport services.

The total number of school transport operators in Abu Dhabi reached 159, operating 5,779 buses in the sector and serving 123,000 students, distributed between 217 public schools, 463 private schools, and 7 public/private partnership schools. The percentage of commitment to COVID-19 precautionary measures on school buses reached 95% while the number of accidents resulting from driver error was 0.2 per 1,000 buses.

Reinforcing the infrastructure for sustainable transport systems

As part of ongoing efforts to diversify sustainable mobility, develop an adequate infrastructure for pedestrians and bicycle users, and establish a sustainable and environmentally friendly transport environment that actively promotes quality of life in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, ITC announced the addition of 676.05 km of cycling and walking routes at the end of 2021, of which 380.15 km are in Abu Dhabi and its suburbs, 255.73 km in Al Ain city and its suburbs, and 40.17 in Al Dhafrah region.

High quality ferry services

Ferry services in Abu Dhabi Emirate have demonstrated highly efficient performance while ensuring maximum safety and comfort for all passengers on board. In 2021, the number of passengers who used ferries operated by ITC reached 114,093 including 65,650 passengers travelling between Jebel Al Dhanna port and Dalma Island, and about 48,443 passengers between Saadiyat and Al Aliah islands.

The intelligent transport systems sector keeps up with the latest technologies and upgrades its services

In 2021, the ITC launched the Abu Dhabi “Darb” Toll Gate System, introducing an integrated online system that enables vehicle owners to register, create accounts easily and add credit to their wallets using the Darb website, www.darb.itc.gov.ae, or the Darb app, available on the Apple Store, Google Play, and AppGallery.

Incorporating the latest technologies used in traffic management, ITC has developed a traffic management system at 64 intersections that are fitted with sensors to track traffic volumes on Al Reem Island and Al Maryah Island using the comprehensive traffic control system, “SCOOT”. The system is interactive and flexible in responding to traffic volume changes which are captured as data from the sensors. The system can automatically coordinate between adjacent intersections to provide integrated management of traffic on the road network, improving traffic flow and the safety of road users.

In a major step to enrich the experience for public transport users and increase customer satisfaction, ITC has made their data of public transport buses available on Google Maps, including bus timings and routes, making the information easily accessible by public transport users. This step elevates the level of services offered to public transport passengers, fitting the needs of Abu Dhabi residents and visitors.

Reinforcing traffic safety measures

In order to coordinate and unify the efforts of ITC stakeholders to enhance traffic safety levels in the emirate, the Joint Committee for Traffic Safety in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi was relaunched in 2021. The committee includes the membership of DMT, ITC, Abu Dhabi Police, and the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi.

The activation of the committee comes through ITC’s efforts to provide a safe and a sustainable transport system in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, following the guidance and implementing the vision of the leadership to fulfill the needs of the society, making Abu Dhabi safer.

With that in mind, the committee launched its vision-zero strategy that aims to consistently reduce traffic accidents and cut the number of deaths on the road to zero. Within this framework, the committee launched a series of awareness campaigns targeting motorcycle users that work in the service sector. The campaign targeted an increase in awareness of safety measures among motorbike riders. Another campaign involved raising awareness about the ‘stop’ sign and its rules, and the importance of following these rules for the safety of all road users in order to avoid accidents and traffic fines. Additionally, a campaign was launched about safe driving during fog and increasing awareness among drivers to be careful and take all necessary precautions when driving to ensure the safety of road users. The committee presented a strategy to increase traffic awareness among a larger audience on the occasion of World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims at Expo 2020 Dubai.

In order to maintain the safety of road users and the sustainability of the infrastructure, and in support of commercial activity, ITC, in collaboration with its stakeholders and Al Ain Municipality, allowed the movement of trucks along the Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan Road (Al Ain – Dubai, E66), passing through Hazza bin Sultan Road in Al Ain city, outside of peak hour timings between 10:00 pm to 6:00 am. The move was introduced for trucks not exceeding 45 tons after directives from the leadership to encourage investment opportunities and provide a suitable infrastructure that eases the movement of trucks between the emirates and follows the highest safety standards for road users. This reduces the length and the journey time of truck operations and reduces costs while maintaining the infrastructure network and supporting its sustainability.

Other projects related to traffic safety completed by ITC during 2021 include the Transport Safety Studies and Designs Project, wherein a manual for traffic detours in construction sites was updated according to the best international practices, and the development of a speed management guide for roads in Abu Dhabi Emirate. These are part of the continuous efforts of ITC to establish a safe transport environment that eases mobility, guarantees community safety and elevate the quality of life in the emirate.

Traffic Management Centre reinforces traffic safety

In 2021, the Traffic Management Centre of ITC received 27,684 incident reports which were dealt with by the Road Service Patrol (RSP). The RSP provides round-the-clock assistance to motorists by carrying out emergency repairs that may be needed by a vehicle on the road, and enhances traffic flow and safety by removing any broken-down or accident-damaged vehicles to the nearest safe location.

In addition, 15,806 road detour permit requests were received, a 64% increase over the previous year. The total number of field inspections to examine traffic detours was 33,943. In 2021, ITC began implementing Traffic Detour Executive Regulations in Al Ain and its suburbs and in Al Dhafra region, after their implementation in Abu Dhabi City in 2020.

ITC also installed and commenced operation of 53 new smart traffic signals to manage traffic and pedestrians. Additionally, 361 intersection designs were reviewed, along with 233 initial designs, and the traffic capacity of 246 traffic lights was increased in different regions of the emirate, all to increase the safety of road users, pedestrians, motorcycle riders and cyclists.

Continuous monitoring of freight and technical safety for trucks

In order to maintain the safety of road users and the sustainability of the infrastructure, and in support of commercial activity, the ITC, in collaboration with its stakeholders, inspected and monitored the technical safety of 693,940 trucks at heavy vehicle control stations in Mussafah on Truck Road E30, and Khatm Al Shiklah on Truck Road E40 in Al Ain City during 2021. Heavy vehicle control stations aim to raise the standards for managing freight transport, controlling vehicle weights, reducing overloading and minimizing the potential danger that could endanger the safety of road users, acting as a pre-emptive procedure against severe damage to the emirate’s road and bridge infrastructure.

2021 also saw the launch of the Hazardous Materials Tracking System, an electronic platform for tracking vehicles transporting hazardous materials aimed at enhancing road security and safety. 1,673 freight transport companies were registered on the tracking platform, 1,779 vehicles were registered, and 15 tracking equipment suppliers were approved. 54 tracking devices have been approved, which track freight movement and contribute to the detainment of offenders, with the aim of maintaining the security and safety of road users and society.

ITC, along with its strategic stakeholders, put into effect a series of awareness campaigns to encourage drivers to follow safety rules and regulations, and inspection visits were made to check tyre safety issues and technical standards to ensure road safety.

The development of public parking services

As part of its ongoing efforts to develop its services and facilitate and accelerate their delivery, ITC upgraded a number of public parking services during the year, enabling customers to access them immediately through ITC's digital channels. Public Parking services are now provided on the Abu Dhabi Unified Government Service Platform, “TAMM”, which seeks to diversify its delivery channels and facilitate access to them.

ITC activated 2,868 new parking spaces in 2021; 2,324 in Al Ain City and 544 in Abu Dhabi city. Additionally, ITC issued 3,694 limited-term permits for public parking, at a fee commensurate with the duration of the permit. This allows vehicles to use the standard parking spaces (painted blue and black) in Abu Dhabi city and Al Ain without paying a fee every time.

Additionally, 389 permits were issued for the use of multi-storey parking in the emirate.  ITC launched a new service during the year allowing individuals and companies to obtain multi-storey parking facilities in Abu Dhabi city through a subscription. These subscriptions can be beneficial for current and future parking requirements without any additional costs. The initiative supports ITC’s efforts to ease the burden on multi-storey subscribers and provide a larger number of parking spaces for them, encouraging them to subscribe to the service, raising satisfaction rates and decreasing congestion around roadside parking spaces. ITC provides 3,788 parking spaces in 7 multi-storey buildings on Abu Dhabi Island, which also have 31 spaces for People of Determination, 182 spaces reserved for ladies only and 16 for electric vehicles, thus offering fully integrated services for multi-storey parking users.

With a view to promoting the integration with other government entities in the service of the community at all levels, ITC also launched a service allowing the online issuance of parking permits for vehicles of People of Determination citizens and residents in cooperation with the Zayed Higher Organization  as part of joint efforts to improve the quality of services provided for People of Determination, facilitating their mobility and helping them fully integrate into society.

In efforts to support the digitization of services, expand the digital services database and protect the environment, ITC stopped its inspectors from issuing printed parking fines in the emirate in 2021. Fines are now issued electronically and notifications are sent by SMS, which include the full details of the fine.

ITC also participated in the organisation of external and internal parking areas in the industrial and residential area of ICAD, Musaffah Industrial Area and Al Mafraq, in coordination with the Abu Dhabi Police’s Al Mersad Unit, as well as in joint campaigns with Abu Dhabi Municipality centres to eliminate incidents of neglected or abandoned vehicles and the random parking of goods vehicles and trucks in residential areas and on roadsides. These efforts have been introduced to preserve the general appearance of the city and its roads, and 1,496 vehicle owners were contacted for the removal or cleaning of offending vehicles, while the remaining cars were impounded and legal action was taken against owners. ITC also made improvements to truck parking spaces in Mussafah Industrial Area – M18, which included adding traffic signals to organize the trucks’ entry and exit from the parking area.

In order to ensure optimal use of public parking areas and compliance with regulations and laws, the ITC Parking Management Division carried out 27,583 inspections to uncover any misuse of parking areas and pavements by businesses, to ensure optimal use of available public parking spaces. These visits were spread out to cover all areas of Abu Dhabi and Al Ain and resulted in 653 violation tickets being issued.

Close oversight to guarantee compliance with laws and regulations

Determined to achieve the highest standards of safety in the public transport sector and to ensure compliance with all laws and legislation governing operations in this sector, ITC carried out inspection campaigns on various passenger transport activities in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi during the year, which resulted in the issuance of violation tickets in various areas, including 2,756 tickets for illegal transport and passenger smuggling.

Additionally, 572 tickets were issued to violators of the procedures for implementing traffic detours around construction sites. However, 98% of workers on sites requiring permits followed the guidelines and complied with the traffic safety index, which exceeded the target goal of 95% for the index.

ITC re-affirmed that it is keen to address illegal behaviour in the public transport sector across its activities and services by intensifying inspection campaigns, detaining offenders and taking all possible legal action against them.

Ongoing partnerships and cooperation

As part of its efforts to enhance the quality of the services provided and to contribute to the development of an integrated and sustainable transport system, ITC signed a variety Agreements in 2021, including those with the Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA), Monitoring and Control Centre, Group 42, and Al Dhafrah Co-operative Society.

The agreement with the Dubai Road and Transport Authority aims to facilitate the movement of bus passengers between Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Dubai, and reduce operational costs. The second, with the Monitoring and Control Centre, aims to enhance cooperation with respect to joint ventures and data exchange that promote cooperation and serve the interests of both parties in accordance with legislation, regulations and procedures, while the G42 agreement aims to expand exploration and cooperation in the manufacturing of autonomous self-driving vehicles, through which the first phase of self-driving taxi services, TXAI, was launched. The fourth agreement, with Al Dhafrah Co-operative Society, allows customers to purchase smart bus passes from all branches of Al Dhafrah Co-Operative Society. This was introduced at a time where there was high demand for using public buses as a safe and comfortable method of transport.

In line with the guidance of the wise leadership aimed at achieving the highest standards of public health and safety in the emirate, and taking into account the current situation that the world is experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, ITC emphasised that the safety of all members of society, in particular public transport users, is a priority at all times, confirming that it will continue to take all necessary precautionary measures and actions, in coordination with the DMT and its stakeholders, to ensure the highest standards of health and safety in the public transport sector.