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Tue 20 Jan 2009 03:00 PM

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Water travel to reduce Dubai’s road congestion - RTA

Water taxis and a ferry will offer Dubai residents an alternative to getting in their cars.

Dubai’s marine transportation industry will help reduce road congestion once several related projects are completed, the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) claimed on Tuesday.

The claims comes in the wake of several new projects lauched last year inlcuidng Ferry Dubai and water taxi projects.

The former involves establishing four ferry stations around Dubai, while the taxi initiative is expected to cut road traffic by carrying passengers along emirate’s water canals and creeks.

Mohammed Obaid Al Mulla, CEO of RTA Marine Agency, said the schemes were introduced following a study of Dubai’s water transport links.

“The achievements realised were an outcome of feasible and constructive proposals to restructure marine mass transit lines at the operational level,” he said.

“This covered four key aspects; namely the volume of demand, length of the route and trip time, navigational features, and operational features; which includes the cost of purchase, operation and maintenance of various boat types.”

Motorised abras (small, Arabic boats), whic hwillform part of the water taxi scheme, would be able to carry a maximum of 20 people, while manual ones would have room for five passengers, the RTA said.

When finished, the project will have 27 stations in various locations along Dubai Creek, Dubai Marina and the coast.

The Ferry Dubai scheme will have four pick up points - Gold Souk Station, Ghubaiba Station, City Center Station and Union Square Station.

Meanwhile, a $1.6m Marine Security and Safety Services Project, also introduced last year, will reduce the risks of travelling by water.

The project covers towing and tugging boats, refueling, battery check ups and emergency repairs.   

As part of the scheme, RTA Marine Agency will provide seafarers maritime support services and educational programmes.

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