Key projects include Route 2020, roads and interchanges to ease traffic to expo venue
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is implementing projects worth 15 billion UAE dirhams ($4.09 billion) to support Expo 2020, the authority’s top official announced on Tuesday.
“We are working in a budget of around 15 billion dirhams… to support the Expo,” Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA, said during a panel discussion on Expo 2020 projects at the Dubai International Project Management Forum.
Key projects under construction listed by the RTA chief included the 15-km, 7-station Route 2020 extension of Dubai Metro Red Line to the site of the Expo; the 404 million dirhams Airport Road Improvement Project, which aims to improve traffic flow around Dubai International Airport and reduce the journey time to the Expo venue, and construction of roads and interchanges to manage traffic in and around the Expo site at a cost of 3.5 billion dirhams.
Meanwhile, an Expo-related project that has been completed is the Enterprise Command and Control Center (EC3), opened by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in May this year, said Al Tayer.
RTA is also bringing in more buses and taxi services to support the six-month event.
“We are buying 625 buses, 2,900 taxis and building 14 bus stations. These will be added to the existing network,” he said.
On “futuristic projects” like Hyperloop, flying taxis and self-driving vehicles debuting at the Expo, Al Tayer said the RTA has established a dedicated office for such projects and is working with the Expo office to have “one or two of these transport (systems in place)”.
But he cautioned that with futuristic transport projects, “there are elements which you should finish in order to succeed”.
“Most of the manufacturers are saying that in five years this technology will be in operation or will be commercially used. I think it is a big challenge.”
He cited change of legislation, fast developing technology, safety and security and integration into existing infrastructure as the four main challenges for such projects.
Al Tayer said the RTA’s initiatives to support Expo 2020 is overseen by a higher committee that he chairs, and which is supported by six committees for roads, public transport, metro, emergency response, crowd management and strategic relations.
(Edited by Bhaskar Raj)
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© ZAWYA 2017