Dubai plans to make public transport emission-free by 2050

All taxis, buses, ride-share and school transport vehicles will run on electricity and hydrogen

Dubai last year tested electric buses that can be charged as they pass over magnetic strips on the road. Wam
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Public transport in Dubai will be emission-free by 2050, under plans by the emirate's government.

All taxis, buses, ride-share cars and school vehicles will run on electricity and hydrogen in a major sustainability push, said the Dubai government media office on Monday.

"This also supports the commitment of the UAE to the Paris Agreement on climate change to reduce the emissions in the UAE by 23.5 per cent by 2030,” said Nasser BuShehab, chief executive of the Roads and Transport Authority's strategy and governance department.

The announcement follows the recent unveiling of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, which set out a major expansion of the city and its population.

"The roadmap of the plan – which is benchmarked against the best practices in New York, Denmark, UK, France and Japan – is based on three strategic pillars: green mobility, infrastructure, and circular economy," Mr BuShehab said.

“The highlights include broadening the use of electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles and buses in the fleets of public transport, school buses, taxis and limousines to reach the targeted 100 per cent rate by 2050.

"It also calls for widening the use of clean energy, such as solar power, in the premises and facilities of RTA, rehabilitation of the existing buildings and introducing the construction of almost emission-free buildings in all new projects."

More efficient street lighting will be in place by 2035 and 100 per cent of municipal waste across RTA projects will be recycled as of 2030.

"The plan estimates a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 8 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent and saving about Dh3 billion by 2050," Mr BuShehab said.

The RTA already has a target to make 50 per cent of the publicly-owned Dubai fleet hybrid this year, and last year it tested electric buses that can be charged as they pass over magnetic strips on the road.

The broader urban plan includes ambitions to boost the city's population from 3.3 million to 5.8 million in the next 20 years.

Physically Dubai would grow significantly, expanding further into the desert and increasing the length of its public beach by 400 per cent.

Dubai Urban Master Plan 2040 – in pictures