Water buses from Dubai to Sharjah
Commuting between Dubai and Sharjah may soon include the option of travelling on a water bus as Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) is looking at the possibility of creating new routes connecting the two emirates by sea.
Shaikh Majid opens School Transport Conference
The first-ever International School Transport Conference and Exhibition for the Middle East and North Africa region opened on Sunday at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
The conference is being hosted by Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) in partnership with the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT).
Shaikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, flanked by Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, inaugurated the conference and also toured the school transport exhibition, which has the participation of 35 companies from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Canada, China, the US and the UAE.
Alexandra Robinson, President of National Association for Pupil Transportation, addressed the delegates and reiterated the rights of all students. She noted that the three-day conference would discuss a set of ideas and highlight the best practices in school transportation.
A senior official at RTA confirmed the development saying initial feasibility studies were already underway and it was a matter of time before an announcement would be made.
Speaking with Khaleej Times, CEO of Public Transport Agency (PTA) at RTA Dr Yousif Mohammed Al Ali said: “After the implementation of Salik, we are looking at the possibility of integrating water bus routes and connecting them with different emirates. There are some studies which have been undertaken at the moment.”
During peak hours, traffic on internal roads connecting Dubai and Sharjah continue to remain slow moving and expanding existing roads is no longer an option. The need to develop alternative modes of transport is even greater, taking into account the increasing number of cars registered each year in Dubai.
“Currently, there are inter-city buses connecting Dubai and Sharjah and we see no reason why there would be no possibility of developing marine transport on similar lines,” he added.
Potential areas which could serve as water bus stations in Sharjah have been identified but RTA is exploring ways to address commuter safety and infrastructure needs, before announcing any routes. “It is part of the RTA master-plan to improve the public transport network and develop the different modes of transportation. However, it would be too early to announce a date when any new routes would take effect,” explained Dr Yousif. He added that the Agency was working on improving the marine transport network in Dubai and boosting its image as a tourist-friendly service also.