12 marine transport stations to be built at Business Bay Canal and Dubai Water Canal15/08/2015
HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), revealed that the RTA would build 12 marine transport stations at the Business Bay Canal and the Dubai Water Canal. “Five of these stations are being built at the Dubai Water Canal project; which is currently underway, and the remaining seven stations will be built at the Business Bay Canal by 2018,” says Al Tayer. “Thus the total number of marine transport stations at the Dubai Creek, Business Bay Canal and the Dubai Water Canal will rise to 18 stations. The marine transport sector will witness a quantum shift in the number and modes of transport, stations and riders with the completion of the link of the Business Bay Canal and the Dubai Water Canal with the Arabian Gulf. This will render marine transit modes the favourite mobility choice of citizens, residents, and visitors ferrying them at the backdrop of staggering urbanized & tourist facilities on the two shores of the Dubai Creek and the two water canals,” he commented.
“The Marine transport sector is an integral part of the mass transit network in the Emirate with estimated ridership in the tune of 13 million riders per annum. In view of the importance of this sector as a vital transit mode, the RTA has developed a master plan for upgrading marine transport systems in the Emirate including the operation of Dubai Creek lines, coastal line alongside the Jumeirah Beaches, new islands service lines, in addition to the Business Bay and Dubai Water Canal lines. Over the past few years, the RTA embarked on the operation of a number of electricity-powered traditional abras. These abras are deployed at some tourist destinations such as the Dubai Mall Lake, Global Village, Atlantis Hotel, and Mamzar Beach. It has also launched the Tourist Day package in Dubai, and the One-Day Ticket of the Water Bus at the Dubai Marina,” explained Al Tayer.
“The RTA is expanding the manufacturing of traditional petrol-powered abras where the completion rate in the manufacturing of five traditional abras project has exceeded 60%. It is also engaged in the expansion of marine transit stations where it has completed the construction of the Marina Station, and work is progressing in building Al Jadaf Station; which is considered one of the key marine transport stations in Dubai Creek. The station will enhance the integration of mass transit modes by linking the Dubai Ferry (Dubai Festival City – Al Jadaf Line) with the public bus service and the Metro Creek Station. The RTA is also building a station for the maintenance of marine transit means at Al Garhoud which is set for completion during the final quarter of this year,” added RTA Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors.
“Over the past five years, the RTA has achieved several key projects such as retrofitting 149 abra engines, revamping abra dockyards and marinas, and launching the 36-seater water bus. The water bus extends 12 meters in length and 4 meters in width, weighs 7 tons and travels at a speed of 10-12 knots. It is fitted with twin diesel-powered engines of 185 hp each, and manufactured at the highest world-class security and safety standards.
“In May 2010, the RTA inaugurated the Water Taxi; the latest marine transport mode at that time, and deployed it on the Dubai Creek and shores as an additional express transit mode integrated with the rest of transport systems in the Emirate. The Water Taxi is characterized by an aerodynamic design combining the traditional abra shape, and modernity reflected in the roof emulating the shape of the Dubai Metro stations and capitalizing on the latest technology in use in this field. It has a dual base structure with Catamaran Low Wash body, a smoothly sloping roof, and an air-conditioned interior in addition to comfortable seats simulating aircraft business class seats as they are fitted with remotely controlled LCD monitors at the rear of the front seat, 45 degrees reclining seats and a food tray. The water taxi can accommodate up to 11 passengers plus the driver, and has a design customized to meet the requirements of special needs as 20% of seats have been allocated for this category. These seats are foldable to provide ample space for the entry and exit of wheelchair users without any disruption in addition to the full stability on-board the cabin. The Water Taxi service is offered on demand through phone booking where the passenger(s) can wait at the agreeable boarding station and the alighting process can be at any location depending on the wish of the passenger at any of the water taxi stops. The water taxi can also be chartered for tourist purposes across Dubai Creek.
On 4 March 2011, the Marine sector saw a unique achievement at the regional level marking the launch of the Dubai Ferry; the latest and biggest marine transit means at the RTA as each Ferry has a capacity to accommodate 100 riders. It is the third project envisaged in RTA Strategic Plan to upgrade marine transit modes.
The Ferry Dubai is being used as an additional express marine transit means for serving new areas uncovered by the marine transport network. The Ferry is operated in a number of locations on the Dubai Creek, Mamzar Beach and Coastal line along Jumeirah Beach in addition to the Dubai Marina, and waterfronts projects.