Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced that its marine transport network would expand by 188 percent to span 158 km, and the number of scheduled passenger lines would see a 400 percent upswing to 35 lines under a master plan running up to 2030.
Under the plan, the marine transit fleet would be beefed up by 32 percent to reach 258 means, and the number of marine transport stations would see a 65 percent rise to encompass 79 stations by 2030, it stated.
Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA said: "Marine transport is an integral part of the public transport network in Dubai. It ferries about 14 million riders every year and the sector is witnessing a sustained growth in the number of means, stations and riders."
"The marine sector is expected to expand considerably with the completion of construction works in urban and tourist facilities on both sides of the Dubai Water Canal and other waterfront development projects," he noted.
"Marine transport will be the favourite mobility means for citizens, residents and tourists visiting Dubai relishing the scenic structures and facilities on the shores of both the Canal and the Arabian Sea," remarked Al Tayer.
"In 2020, the marine transport network increased 24 km to reach 79 km. Moreover, 5 abras from the new generation of wooden traditional abras were deployed to bring the total number of RTA’s marine transport means to 55 vessels," he stated.
Al Tayer pointed out that the sector managed to overcome the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic by implementing the corporate agility principles and practices and optimising the use of resources, which ensured the continuity of marine transport services.
"Despite the undergoing challenges, the ridership of marine transport means last year clocked 8.049 million riders. RTA also started the trial run of five traditional abras powered by Biodiesel 5, which is officially approved in the UAE," said the top official.
According to him, the initiative, which was run in collaboration with Enoc, yielded extremely positive results.
"Biodiesel 5 is efficient in recycling waste, reducing gas emissions and conserving the environment; thus, it contributes to Dubai’s Clean Energy Strategy. RTA had also launched a new generation of wooden traditional abras replicating the same design of the existing abras with high security and safety standards," explained Al Tayer.
This year, RTA plans to open four water transport lines extending 10 km, which will extend the total length of the marine transport network to 89 km. The new lines will link Deira Night Market with Al Ghubaiba Station and the Waterfront Market Station.
The other three lines will link Dubai Creek Project with Dubai Festival City Station, Blue Water Station with the marine transport network at the Dubai Marina, and the Heritage Village with Jaddaf Station and Dubai Festival City Station, he added.-TradeArabia News Service