The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai has unveiled plans for a new toll gate (Salik) to be introduced at the Business Bay Crossing. This strategic move aligns with the RTA’s comprehensive plan to advance and integrate road networks, public transport routes, and services while enhancing technical road and transport systems. The initiative underscores the RTA’s dedication to implementing policies that promote public transport usage and diminish reliance on private vehicles.
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has disclosed the establishment of the Al Safa South Toll Gate on Sheikh Zayed Road, positioned between Al Meydan and Umm Al Sheif Streets, serving operational and organizational objectives. A unified tariff will be applicable for crossings between the two Safa Gates (north and south) within a one-hour timeframe.
As part of its commitment to optimizing traffic movements across Dubai, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is implementing measures to divert traffic to alternative corridors like Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, Dubai-Al Ain Road, Ras Al Khor Road, and Al Manama Street. Additionally, the initiative promotes the utilization of alternative Creek crossings such as the Infinity Bridge and Al Shindagha Tunnel. By doing so, the RTA aims to incentivize residents and visitors to choose less congested traffic routes, contributing to a more efficient and streamlined road network in the city.
Following the roadmap outlined by the RTA, both toll gates are scheduled to achieve full operational status by November 2024, coinciding with the conclusion of the Al Khail Road Improvement Project. This comprehensive project entails the construction of five intersections and braided ramps, along with the implementation of rapid traffic solutions at two crucial junctures along Al Khail Road. Additionally, enhancements to the surface intersections of First Al Khail Road with Al Meydan and Al Zumurrud Streets are integral components of this significant undertaking.
In the realm of transport policies, His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority, emphasized the integral role of toll gates. These gates serve as strategic components supporting road infrastructure and public transport initiatives by effectively distributing traffic across the entire road network, thereby maximizing their utility. Furthermore, toll policies play a crucial role in incentivizing the public to embrace mass transportation alternatives, including the metro, buses, marine transport, and other sustainable mobility options.
Al Tayer added, “The current toll gates have played a pivotal role in annually saving 6 million hours of travel time in Dubai. They have successfully mitigated traffic volumes on the Al Maktoum and Al Garhoud bridges by 26%, resulting in a 24% reduction in travel times on Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Ittihad Street. Additionally, these toll gates have contributed to a significant increase in mass transit users, with a surge of 9 million riders per annum.”
Al Tayer noted, “After thorough studies and recommendations from international consultants, it has been determined that the installation of a toll gate at the Business Bay Crossing and the Al Safa South Toll Gate, functioning as an operational gate, is imperative. This necessitates a unified tariff for crossings between the two Al Safa Gates (north and south) within a one-hour window. The objective of this measure is to uphold traffic service levels, manage traffic volumes effectively, and alleviate congestion on the road network and at intersections.”
The RTA has successfully delivered an array of mega projects with a cumulative value exceeding AED 146 billion. A standout among these achievements is the Dubai Metro, recognized as the world’s longest driverless metro network spanning 90 km. Since its inauguration on September 9, 2009, the metro has seamlessly transported over two billion riders, solidifying its status as a cornerstone of advanced infrastructure in the region.
The RTA has executed diverse projects, encompassing the construction of the 11 km-long Dubai Tram, a significant expansion of bus routes from 2,095 km to 3,967 km (in both directions) between 2006 and 2023. Additionally, a modern fleet of public buses, comprising 1,400 vehicles compliant with European specifications for low carbon emissions “Euro 6,” has been deployed. The RTA has successfully managed and operated an integrated marine transport network, featuring traditional abras, the Dubai Ferry, and water taxis. Furt hermore, the development of an extensive network of roads and bridges is evident, with the total length expanding from 8,715 lane-kilometres in 2006 to an impressive 18,886 lane-kilometres in 2023.
Al Tayer remarked, “The past year marked the inauguration of numerous crucial road initiatives, such as Sheikh Zayed bin Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan Street, Ras Al Khor Road under the Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Corridor Improvement Project, and the Falcon Interchange as part of the Al Shindagha Corridor Improvement Project. Additionally, we successfully concluded the construction of internal road networks in various residential areas.”
Ongoing Construction Projects in Progress
In the forthcoming year, the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is set to proceed with the contract award for the Dubai Metro Blue Line project, spanning a total distance of 30 km, with 15.5 km underground and 14.5 km above ground. Additionally, the RTA has outlined plans to finalize several pivotal road projects, including the Al Shindagha Corridor Improvement Project, Garn Al Sabkha – Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Roads Intersection Improvement Project, Hessa Street Improvement Project, and Umm Suqeim Street Improvement Project.
The construction agenda extends to the development of bridges linking Dubai Islands, internal road projects, and alignment with emerging transportation trends, such as soft and shared mobility, sustainable transport modes, digital transformation, and self-driving transport.