Abu Dhabi metro trains to start operation by 2016, trams by 2014

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Abu Dhabi Metro projectAbu Dhabi: Metro trains will start running here by 2016 and trams are slated for 2014, officials have said.

Abdullah Rashid Al Otaiba, Director of the Department of Transport (DoT), said: “Metro trains are expected to start running in 2016 and trams will begin operating in 2014.”

Last week the department invited bids from international consultancies to prepare the Abu Dhabi Metro Study, one of the largest in the world.

The Abu Dhabi Metro Study is a result of the Surface Transport Master Plan (STMP), a major initiative taken by the DoT to develop a comprehensive plan for surface transport – including different modes for passengers and freight such as roads, metro, Light Rail Transit (LRT) – that will meet the needs of residents as well support the economy’s mobility until 2030.

The metro rail system will run approximately 131km, and will be supported by tram and bus feeder services. Besides serving the projected increase in population of the city and relieving congestion, the metro will connect the mainland with communities such as Saadiyat, Yas Islands and Al Raha Beach.

Al Otaiba said detailed studies were currently being undertaken to study the actual implementation.

Meanwhile, the capital – already committed to sustainable transportation in its Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 – has raised the bar a level higher by signing the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) Charter on Sustainable Development.

The signing took place during the UITP Middle East North Africa (Mena) seminar and assembly that began yesterday. The three day seminar is being held under the theme ‘Sustainable Urban Transport: Vital for competitive cities’.

Speaking at the seminar, Al Otaiba said: “The government of Abu Dhabi and DoT recognises the importance of sustainable development for national growth whereby the strategy of the department, which was launched last May, takes into account a number of steps towards ensuring that sustainable development is at the heart of everything that we do,”

“As climate change is the greatest threat to sustainable development, we are working through transport regulations to lessen the effects of transport on the environment. Thus, our goal is to implement transport solutions that produce less emission and that will eventually move towards cleaner and greener sources of energy.”

Glen Frommer, chairman of the UITP Sustainable Development Commission, said that would be the first time the UITP charter is taking place in the Mena region.

Statistics

– Abu Dhabi Metro trains will start operating by 2016.
– Abu Dhabi trams will start operating by 2014.
– The metro rail system will run approximately 131 kilometres.

By Rayeesa Absal, Staff Reporter
Published: March 02, 2009, www.gulfnews.com

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