Friday, 16 April 2021 01:46 GMT

Abu Dhabi wins best city award for roads, traffic infrastructure


(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The Capital has bagged an international award for being the world's best city in road and transport infrastructure.

The award comes as a recognition of the Dh1 billion worth of investments Abu Dhabi has made to improve its road network and infrastructure facilities.

Awaidah Murshed Al Marar, Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport chairman, said the award positions Abu Dhabi as one of the most modern cities in the world. "This certificate is a result of hard work. Dh581 million has been invested to improve transport systems projects, traffic management, traffic signals control and other traffic flow improvement projects in Abu Dhabi.

"The department is carrying out projects worth Dh909 million in traffic and transportation management," Al Marar added.

Salah Mohammed Al Marzouqi, director of integrated intelligent transportation system, said the award is result of a vision and planning. "It was in 2010 that Abu Dhabi designed an action plan for the roads and transport system. There were some 30 projects for traffic management and system development. The Traffic Control System changed traffic management in Abu Dhabi," Al Marzouqi.

Technology played a big role in the way the Capital's transport network has shaped up over the years. "A year ago, we switched to a state-of-art traffic system, i.e., from a manual timing of traffic signals to fully adoptive, smart systems using international software," he added.

Integrated Transport Center (ITC) general manager Mohammed Darwish Al Qamzi said, among the top factors that bagged the award is the emirate's reduction of traffic congestion by 14 per cent annually over the past few years, as per the TomTom Traffic Index.

"This is attributed to the high quality of roads, infrastructure and transport network as well as modern technologies used to monitor, control and manage traffic. These include interactive traffic control systems, surveillance cameras, control centres, vehicle monitoring and counting systems, travel time calculators, and variable message signs system that give users information about road conditions and road safety. It also includes road support services and public buses, e-services and e-parking services," Al Qamzi said.

Traffic management systems such as Variable Time Schedule reduced peak waiting times in Abu Dhabi city area by 6 per cent, outside city limits by 31 per cent, and by 50 per cent in Yas, Al Reem, Saadiyat and Al Maryah islands. The system has also reduced off-peak time in the city by 75 per cent, outside the city limits by 90 per cent and by 97 per cent off peak times on Yas Island, Al Rayem, Saadiyat and Al Maryah islands.

TomTom is a company from the Netherlands specialised in navigation systems, traffic maps and GPS systems. Its study included 390 cities in 48 countries and the ranking process is based on real-time data from vehicles using road networks in each city.

Reduced peak waiting times

. 6% in Abu Dhabi city

. 31% outside city limits

. 50% in Yas, Al Reem, Saadiyat and Al Maryah islands

Reduced off-peak waiting times

. 75% in Abu Dhabi city

. 90% outside city limits

. 97% in Yas Island, Al Rayem, Saadiyat and Al Maryah islands.

Pay for parking, check bus timings with app

abu dhabi - Pay for parking, check bus timings or time taken to travel from one place to another, book a taxi or get real-time details of your destination, traffic updates on busy and closed roads, information about airport timings and even ferries. All this and up to 30 services are available on the 'Darb' smart app.

Now, Salah Mohammed Al Marzouqi, director of integrated intelligent transportation systems, said more services will be added. "This will be mainly to do with payment services for transportation, like top-up bus card (hafilat) and mawaqif and all that. You can also book a taxi and monitor it till it arrives," Al Marzouqi said.

"Every day, people use this app to avoid congested areas, get traffic information and bus timings that will help those who might otherwise wait in the heat outside. Such apps help ease people's lives. We have 86 per cent satisfied users," he added.

The Integrated Transport and Navigation System launched in April 2014 provides accurate real-time information about transport network and different transport means in the emirate. Till date, as many as 200,000 users have downloaded the smart app.

ITC general manager Mohammed Darwish Al Qamzi said this is "one-stop shop for all services. Customers can also customise the app; for instance, to get notifications between 8 pm and 10 pm."


Ashwani Kumar

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