Roads & Transport Authority announces third phase of plan to cut congestion on key roads
Dubai's transport authority has announced that the third phase of its Salik toll gates system will go live from April 15.
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said two new toll gates will be installed - the Al Mamzar Toll Gate at Al Mamzar Bridge on Al Ittihad Road and the Airport Tunnel Toll Gate.
The new gates will bring the total number of Salik points in the city to six.
Mattar Al Tayer, RTA chairman and executive director, said: "The launch of Phase 3 of the Toll Gates System was made after conducting exhaustive traffic and field studies of the first and second phases, particularly after the lapse of more than one year since the operation of the Green Line of the Dubai Metro."
He said studies have proven that Salik has succeeded in slashing the trip time on the Sheikh Zayed Road by as much as 44 percent.
He added in a statement that Al Ittihad Road is considered one of the busiest roads in Dubai with about 260,000 vehicles using it every day.
Al Tayer said congestion levels on the road remained below international standards despite the RTA investing around AED1bn in flyovers and additional tunnels.
"The traffic studies concluded that the installation of a toll gate system on Al Ittihad Road without installing the system on the Airport Tunnel will result in massive traffic congestions in the Airport Tunnel," he said.
The Airport Tunnel is considered one of the key roads that serve the Dubai International Airport which will have the capacity to handle 110 million passengers per year by 2020.
Last month, passengers travelling in Dubai taxis started paying the AED4 (US$1.1) fee to pass through Salik toll gates.
Dubai’s RTA said the toll, which was originally applicable to taxis but scrapped in December 2008, will be introduced gradually as it rolls out new meter systems for taxis across the emirate.
Salik gates were launched in July 2007 under a plan to cut down congestion on Dubai’s roads.
The cash raised has since become a key source of income for the RTA, which expects revenues from the toll to reach AED5bn by 2013.
In 2011, the RTA said it had no plans to introduce new Salik toll gates to the city’s roads.
Media reports in February 2011 said the authority planned to add a further two gates in a bid to raise transport revenues.