Dh600 fine for using bus lanes
The National Staff
DUBAI // Car drivers caught using bus and taxi lanes on Dubai’s roads will be fined Dh600.
Enforcement of the city’s eight kilometres of bus lanes will begin with the 1km stretch on Naif Street, which has nine bus routes and up to 36 buses an hour at peak times. Seven cameras will monitor the bus lane. Offenders will be reported either automatically or manually by police traffic patrols.
Only public buses, taxis, police cars, civil defence vehicles and ambulances attending to emergencies are permitted to use the lanes. Private vehicles can cross them to enter or leave sideroads.
A three-month awareness campaign begins on Thursday and offenders will be fined from April 1.
“The dedicated lanes are part of successful global practices enticing the public to use public transport rather than private transport and are applied in several cities across North America and Europe,” said Mattar Al Tayer, executive director of the Roads and Transport Authority.
“The enforcement of the offence code … is intended to increase the share of public transit means in the movement of people in the emirate of Dubai, ease traffic congestion, improve the efficiency of on-time bus arrivals, cut the duration of taxi trips, reduce the direct and indirect operational costs of public transit means and curb carbon emissions polluting the environment,” Mr Al Tayer said.
The cameras and monitoring system will be installed between January and March, when private car drivers caught using bus lanes will be sent a warning. After March 31, they will be fined.
“It’s all awareness, a three-month awareness to help the public get used to it,” said Adel Shakri, director of transport systems at the RTA. “So we will not fine anyone before March 31.
“We will wait for one year to monitor how it has performed, then we will move to all other roads that have dedicated lanes.”
Dubai’s first 6km of bus lanes were introduced in 2010 on Al Mankhool Street from the Satwa roundabout to Sheikh Rashid Street), Al Khaleej Street from the junctionm with Khalid bin Al Waleed Street up to Al Musalla Street opposite the Hyatt Regency hotel, Khalid bin Al Waleed Street from the junction with Al Mina Street to Street 16, and Al Ghubaiba Street from the junction with Al Mina Street to Street 12.
The second 2km phase was introduced in 2011, in Naif Street from Al Musalla Street to Al Khaleej Street and parts of Ettihad Street in the direction of Dubai starting from the outskirts of the emirate to Al Nahda Interchange.
In surveys by the RTA, 77 per cent of respondents said they would like to see the number of bus and taxi lanes extended to cover other streets in Dubai.
Three quarters of those surveyed said the project contributed to reducing journey times, and 86 per cent of bus drivers were satisfied because bus lanes reduced journey times and increased use of public transport.
Published: December 27, 2014 04:00 AM