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Private developers to operate 34% of Dubai rail network

posted on 11/12/2007: 339 views

Private developers would build and operate nearly 34 per cent, a third of Dubai's urban rail network which could stretch up to 886 kilometres, officials said. While the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is expected to build 586 kilometres of mainline network, a number of separate monorails could add up to roughly 300 kilometres at various master-planned communities in Dubai. Some of these could operate through automatic people movers (APMs).

"The length of the metro and trams are likely to be about 586 kilometres in Dubai as per our study," Mattar Al Tayer, chairman of the Board and executive director of Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), told Gulf News yesterday."However, these could change in the coming years as we move forward."

A number of monorails are currently in various phases of development and planning. These include the Palm Jumeirah Monorail, Burj Dubai monorail, City of Arabia monorail as well as the Business Bay monorail. These monorails would be connected to the Dubai Metro stations which will have four lines - the Green, Red, Blue and Purple - that would create an integrated rail network across the city.

"The opportunities for the private sector in developing and operating monorails and trams in Dubai would be about 300 kilometres," said Daniel Dunoye, Business Development and Sales director for Alstom. "We are in talks with developers to bid for those projects."Traffic and road congestion has continued to top the list of public concerns among 1.44 million population of Dubai - which is witnessing explosive growth. The RTA recently said it would invest up to Dh80 billion to develop public transport systems by 2015 to ease traffic."We are currently working on road projects with a total budget of US$2.5 billion (Dh9.1 billion)," Al Tayer said.

"To give you an example of the volume work, I would like to mention that we increased the number of lanes across Dubai Creek from 19 in 2006 to 40 in 2007 to reach 48 in 2008 and 100 in 2020. However, experience taught us in RTA that building more roads by itself doesn't solve the problem of congestion. Transportation must be planned and operated as a complete system with integrated modes of transportation such as bus, rail, and water transport," he told delegates at the Gulf Traffic conference and exhibition that started yesterday.

Eisa Al Dosari, chief executive of RTA's Public Transport Agency, said, the RTA is finalising its transport masterplan for Dubai."It will be in line with the Dubai Strategy Plan and lay the roadmap for future growth of Dubai's transport infrastructure. We will finalise this in three weeks time that will give the overall projections for public transport requirements, including the number of taxis, buses and the length of the rail and tram networks.

At least eight to ten new monorails are being planned in various part of Dubai, including the three Palm projects, Dubai World Central Jebel Ali, Dubai Waterfront, International City, etc. Some more will be required as the city grows, officials said. Among these, Nakheel has appointed SMRT Engineering Pte Ltd to operate the 5.45-kilometre, Dh1.4 billion monorail on the Palm Jumeirah island. (Gulf News)


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