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Wed 24 Mar 2010 03:41 PM

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Dubai to launch bus and taxi only lanes from May 1

Drivers caught illegally using the new lanes face fines of AED600 - RTA.

Dubai to launch bus and taxi only lanes from May 1
BUS LANE: Four of the emirates most congested roads now have the new bus and taxi only lanes. (Supplied)

Dubai’s first bus and taxi only traffic lanes will be launched in the emirate on May 1, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) revealed on Wednesday.

Four of the emirate’s most congested roads have been chosen for the new lanes that only buses and taxis can use.

Officials say the move will help reduce journey times by 50 percent, improve bus arrival times, and limit the number of crashes, according to a statement.

The lanes will be monitored by Dubai Police and dedicated RTA officials from May 15. Any drivers caught illegally using them will be issued a AED600 fine.

“Dedicated lanes are considered successful international practices that motivate the population to use public transport modes rather than their private vehicles, and are being implemented in many North American and European cities with the aim of shortening the journey time, and accordingly entice community members to use public transport modes” said Mattar Al Tayer, RTA chairman and executive director.

The first roads to get dedicated bus lanes are; Al Mankhool Road from Satwa roundabout to Sheikh Rashid Road, Al Khaleej Road from the intersection with Khalid bin Al Waleed Road to Al Musalla Road, opposite to Hyatt Regency Hotel, Khalid bin Al Waleed Road from the intersection with Al Mina Road to Road 16, and Al Ghubaiba Road from the intersection with Al Mina Road up to Road 12.

The bus lanes, which measure 5.6km in total, are clearly marked with signage and on the roads. The only other vehicles that are allowed to use the lanes are the police, ambulance and other emergency services.

Currently the RTA operates 1,540 buses on 119 routes across Dubai, lifting about 325,000 passengers per day. Officials said the new bus lanes will cut journey times on buses by five minutes.

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Brit happy to be here 10 years ago

Seeing as Dubai's taxis are involved in the most accidents, keeping them out of regular traffic lanes will be a positive thing - I am sure a number of drivers will be happy with this - but can't they put the white minibuses in there as well - they are the most dangerous things on the road.

Pradeep 10 years ago

There should be one separate lane for Busses and Carrier Transport (mini trucks) so as to reduce accidents and racing scenes on the road. Busses are seen most of the times coming on the second lane even where they are not supposed to be and no action is taken. I feel if there is a strict rule for a lane for bus and carrier transport, then this will reduce traffic to a major extent.

AK 10 years ago

This is a good initiative by the RTA. Kudos!

Original Joe 10 years ago

In California they have "car pool" lanes which can be used by any vehicle with 2 or more persons. This is what Dubai should do. There is no way this new taxi/bus lane is going to influence drivers to take public transport...never happen! But if there is a faster lane available for those who drive with others this may help. Like in California, sometimes the car pool lanes may not be the fastest. It is possible they become congested with buses, taxis, family vehicles, etc. but adding this option still may be helpful during the busy drive times.

zooey 10 years ago

I"m so happy to hear of this plan by RTA. I have reason to bless the bus/taxi lanes as I was rushed to maternity hospital in a taxi in the rush hour in Sweden.... in 1975! so I'm glad Dubai is catching up with one of the countries with far fewer road accidents. (btw, with gigantic and aggressive advertising campaigns) to improve road safety, you have to be PUSHY and INVADE what ppl think is their privacy inside their own car. signed: a daily bag of nerves on the roads of Riyadh

zooey 10 years ago

..and how many years for Sharjah to follow Big Brother? excuse me, happy Brit, I don't agree that taxis are the worst drivers at all. Within a week of driving in Dubai I was sure that the red number plates must be the ones the police were specially watching. And eight years later I am still convinced that the most arrogant, selfish, dangerous, bloodpressure-raising cars have red number plates. (Perhaps the southern emiratis are licensed to drive computer games)

Vaseem Baig 10 years ago

This is simply fantastic news! It will help regulate movement of other vehicles and benefit people using public transport. Further it may also reduce accidents caused mostly by the taxi drivers due to their bad driving habits. Well done RTA and keep up the good work. Also, would like to congratulate Mr. Mattar Al Tayer, chief of RTA for his remarkable dedication and using his resources in a very effective and admirable way. The beautiful existing infrastructure and ongoing projects of Dubai is testimony of his dynamic qualities under the esteem leadership, vision and guidance of HH the Ruler of Dubai. Dubai is truly an international city and will bounce back sooner than later from its current economic crisis that reflects from today’s announcement of economic support by Dubai government to Dubai World and its conglomerate.

Josh 10 years ago

Well, better late than never. Now the next problem will be how to educate taxi drivers not to speed alongside waiting vehicles. No doubt a few of them will think they are still at liberty to drive the maximum speed limit...sigh!

James Bobly 10 years ago

So how will this be enforced? Are the police actually going to start, heaven forbid, doing some work? @Vaseem - i take it you've not been to many places?

AJ 10 years ago

I drove alongside the outlined lanes in satwa today, and I must say that I truly felt this could end up as one of the best things RTA has offered for us all. For all that feel this is ridiculous or inappropriate, please bear some patience; wait & watch.