By Andy Sambidge
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.
If the Toll gates are put in place with the intention of reducing traffic congestion, then why are the Salik gates not switched off during the night time?
This presumably also adds to the rate of inflation, now that rents and house prices are no longer falling. The cost of taxi usage goes up in real terms having to use more Salik gates and the cost of living rises generally. Originally the introduction of Salik appeared synonymous with the property bubble, designed to reduce traffic on the roads and move them to public transport (thought taxis were regarded as public transport?) now its an essential RTA revenue source, hmmm.
Perhaps a significantly larger income would've been gained by doubling the tax on cigarettes and increasing the price of petrol.
@commuter good point! @red snappa, good point on the cigarettes. I would say quadruple the tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products including shisha. Those things do not benefit the society in any way, they are only harmful to the society. However, low fuel prices should remain as they are part of what gives the UAE a competitive advantage as it makes road transportation of goods cheaper. I'd say increase taxes on harmful substances with 400 to even 1000%, turn off the salik gates from the time the metro stops running (or have the metro run 24/7 with greater intervals at night) and let the fuel prices be.
So Taxi is not public transport?
What is the logic behind making people pay between 10PM and 6AM?
Dubai logic is a mistery unless it is so crysta clear = a new tax in a tax free country?
This is about makin' MONEY!!!!!!!! Traffic may have been the original idea behind Salik but now this is a cash cow for RTA. We all pay because we have to. They could increase the price to AED 5 or 6 and we would still pay.
No, no, the traffic will not decrease it will increase, as the population within Dubai & Sharjah has dwindled in past 4-5 years.
SALIK is a perfect system and yes RTA makes money on it. How else to finance infrastructure in Dubai with such low tax burden as we have here.
99% of cars passing through the mamzar gate are heading to sharjah, the issue isnt with the ettihad road and how many cars pass through the ettihad road, the issue is that sharjah roads are small and they dont digest the same number of cars as quickly as dubai. Otherwise there won't be any traffic on the ettihad road.
I feel sorry for people commenting here.. What ever we say won't change the fact that we still be paying for additional salik. So save your time and energy, RTA won't listen to us.
I live in sharjah and work in dubai, I probably will have to pass three salik gates twice in a single day. (6days a week) Hence paying AED 24 per day. Thatâ€™s calculates into AED 7488 yearly. Then thereâ€™s my wife whom also travels to dubai for work as well. Total budget is approx. AED 15000/-