DUBAI- Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, attended the closing session of the UITP MENA Congress and Exhibition 2014, in the presence of Dr. Ali Fakhro, Ex Minister of Education, Kingdom of Bahrain; Dr. Abdul Aziz Al Ohali, Under Secretary for Transport Affairs, Ministry of Transport, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Alain Flausch, Secretary General of the UITP; and a host of officials from various entities from the UAE and further afield.
In his speech, Dr. Fakhro stressed the importance for all countries to invest in building and developing public transport systems that meet the needs of various community segments as public transport modes, such as trains and buses, save about five folds of the power consumed by private vehicles, besides cutting by half the air and soil pollution rates generated by private vehicles in use. He called for public transport to be integrated in future priorities of plans and projects in order to provide transit means that serve the entire public, particularly low income groups.
“Mass transport has additional benefits in terms of reducing traffic congestion; which is a constant concern for all metropolitan cities, improving the interaction and communication between people giving them a feeling of equality, and suppressing the feelings of isolation, alienism and depression among those who feel socially isolated in cities worldwide,” added Fakhro.
“The Congress, which was attended by more than 3000 delegates and visitors, discussed the future of public transport in the MENA region, and the main recommendation concluded from the Congress is the importance of putting concerted efforts, sharing views and exchanging the best practices between MENA cities which face similar challenges with a view to providing integrated public transport means in the region.
“Providing an integrated public transport can only be achieved through a clear and well-rehearsed strategy, timely implementation and the efficient management of operations. The RTA is endeavouring to make this vision of the smart city a reality through a more efficient & integrated transport system, where customers care rank first and foremost,” added Al Mulla.
A number of youth affiliated to the Youth for Public Transport Foundation, made a presentation about the projects currently being developed by the Foundation which include the healthy mobility, Green Path at Al Safouh linking the Dubai Metro and the Dubai Tram, Smile project, which offers rewards to public transport users, and the knowledge bus project targeting school students in a bid to foster integration between school transport buses and public transport buses. During the event, a movie was presented depicting the activities of the Y4PT Foundation during their participation in the Congress including a visit to the Mohammed bin Rashid Civilized and Cultural Communication Center, and technical visits to transportation systems in Dubai including the Dubai Metro, buses and various marine transit modes.
At the end of the ceremony, Al Tayer felicitated the sponsors of the Congress.