By Andy Sambidge
Emirate is first in region to feature transport network to help users plan journey.
Dubai has become the first city in the MENA region to enter its public transport network into Google Maps, the Roads and Transport Authority has announced.
The new feature enables public bus users, including residents, visitors and tourists in the emirate, to plan their daily travel in advance, the RTA said.
Abdullah Al Madani, CEO of Corporate Technical Support Services Sector at the RTA, said: "This technology aims at assisting public transport users in Dubai in establishing the optimum mobility method, and enlists the available public bus routes options depending on the starting point, destinations and travel times.
"The service also enables both residents and visitors to inquire about the timing of bus schedules and routes through checking them on Google Maps.
"In this sense, Dubai becomes one of more than 50 cosmopolitan cities to use this technology such as London, Paris, New York, and Zurich with sophisticated public transport networks across the globe."
The initiative follows a recent bilateral meeting during which an agreement was signed between the RTA and Google.
Wael Ghonim, Google's regional product and marketing manager added: "Uploading Dubai transport network is the first initiative of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa. We are extremely happy to see Google Maps used in a way that provides useful information for users in the emirate of Dubai."
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It would be also great if Google uploads latest map of dubai and correct several streetname errors. Thanks RTA, thanks Google. Good initiative.
Unfortunately, Dubai is also the first city in the ME to not include their latest jewel, the metro or any of the feeder buses in their public transit planning tool. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but after several searches, Google maps fails to show a single route with a journey on the metro. Furthermore, a standard trip from the Trade Center to the airport shows a trip time of approximately 1 hour. Time from the Marina to the airport is over 2 hours. The RTA needs to seriously look into transit times in order to get more people to use public transport. Having buses that go from one part of Dubai to another and stop every 5 minutes on the way is not the answer. We need fast shuttles between the major areas of Dubai between Bus Depots and then smaller local shuttles within. Several smaller journeys (from point to point) is much better than one long journey that gets you to your destination but also goes everywhere else in the city on the way taking hours at a time. Just my 2 cents.... -HM
Henry, according to the interview I heard on the radio, this is still in testing phases and metro and marine routes have not been uploaded yet. Probably that is why we dont see busses with F routes and metro. I think this is still work in progress and with being a professional who does this sort of thing, it is not easy and we must give them time to make it accurate. Lets be patient and help both Google and RTA with the errors we may see and help them improve the system. In return, we will be the beneficiaries.
Unfortunately, the official RTA press release does not mention it being in 'testing phase' even once. Thanks for the info Joe. It's good to know that this is just a glimpse of a hopefully finished product. -HM
henry, although it is an alpha release, and given the nature of technology, you can always expect bugs, misses and errors in the first release.