BY A STAFF REPORTER
THE Roads and Transport Authority's Board of Directors chaired by Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of RTA endorsed a contract for constructing a Public Bus Depot at Al Rawiyya, at a cost of Dhs400 million.
The station is set to provide comprehensive services such as bus lining up yard, maintenance workshops, supply service etc.
"Phase I of the Project, which has an estimated cost of Dhs205 million, includes construction of a bus depot capable of accommodating 295 buses (144 standard buses and 151 articulated buses). It also includes a maintenance workshop for electrical and mechanical works accommodating 20 buses at a time. In addition to that it includes supply line to serve 12 buses, and a washing and cleaning bay with an intake of 20 buses at a time. Phase II includes construction of an administration office for about 40 employees in addition to Drivers Quarters with a capacity to house 444 drivers. These units are composed of rooms, toilets, wash basins, dining halls and recreational facilities. Also under this Phase is construction of investment buildings covering an area of 3005 square metres of food courts and shops, besides a mosque with a capacity of 500 prayers.
"This Project is part of the comprehensive plan set up by the RTA to uplift public bus mass transit system so as to attract additional numbers of passengers and ease traffic congestion. We are therefore working on provision of highly sophisticated buses to deliver top quality services at affordable rates and with a wide geographical coverage. It will also contribute to achieving integrated mass transit modes that include public buses, Dubai Metro and Marine transport.
The plan also calls for constructing of air-conditioned bus shelters for passengers and expanding construction of bus depots.
"RTA new bus procurement plan is being carried out over several phases; Phase I included the purchase of 80 Mercedes buses deployed on three new routes and 620 buses from MAN & Solaris companies at a total cost exceeding Dhs1 billion dirham. Breakdown of this order includes 395 buses from MAN (170 double deck buses, 150 articulated buses and 75 standard buses). The remaining 225 buses are being procured from Solaris Co. (75 standard buses, and 150 articulated buses). RTA has so far received a great portion of the new buses which were deployed on old routes to replace aging buses.
"The new buses are fitted with the latest technological features and highest security and safety standards. They are designed to meet the requirements of special need persons in terms of low floor rising just 38 cm from the ground level compared to 100 cm in the normal buses; which require three steps to board the bus. The design of the second door entry point in articulated buses includes non-slipping floor to ease boarding and alighting of special need passengers. The entrance provides direct access to the location designated for wheel chairs of special need persons or prams.
"RTA signed an agreement with Al-Futtaim Auto and Machinery Company, (Famco) to purchase 55 deluxe Volvo buses, fitted with top of the range luxury standards that measure up to the luxury of Business Class in airplanes, at a cost of Dhs128 million. The agreement covers 30 first class single deck buses, 15 deluxe buses, and 10 first class buses fitted with facilities to accommodate wheelchairs of special need persons.
"Besides the latest technological features, the new buses are fitted with the highest safety and security standards. Their design has been tailored to suit special need persons and offer superior levels of luxury and quality. There is ample space between seats; which are fitted with multi audio-visual entertainment channels and an internet access. Bus interior also includes food facilities, toilet and en-route catering service request.
"In the near future, RTA will award the contract of the world's biggest bus purchase order covering 1,616 buses of different sizes and shapes designed at the highest safety and security standards. State-of-the-art technological features fitted to these buses include voice announcement of the next stop, commuter statistical system, a global positioning system linked to RTA control room, and internal and external display monitors.
Following this order, the number of buses in service by 2009 will hit 2,500 buses; ensuring public transport geographical coverage spanning all over the emirate of Dubai. This is bound to provide feeder service to Dubai metro stations and ultimately push up the percentage of trips carried out by public transport modes.
"The project of air-conditioned bus shelters for passengers is proceeding according to schedule and the number of air-conditioned shelters will rise to about 1,000 shelters by 2010. Work on constructing the bus depot is running smoothly in both stations at Jebel Ali and Al Rawiyya. A contract for constructing another station at Al Khawaneej will also be awarded. Work is in hand to finalise design works of three bus depots in Karamah, Satwa and Al-Quoz as well.
Source: Gulf Today