Thursday, July 4, 2013

RTA discusses operation of Al Safouh Tram with Dubai Police

RTA discusses operation of Al Safouh Tram with Dubai Police

Discussions included managing the overlapping in the movement of tram, vehicles at intersections

The Roads & Transport Authority – Mohammed Al Munji:
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has recently held a coordinative meeting with the General HQ of the Dubai Police during which it discussed the draft legislation regarding the tram system operation in Dubai, and managing the overlapping of tram and vehicular traffic particularly at signalized junctions, besides other tasks and responsibilities pertinent to the RTA and the Dubai Police.

The meeting was attended by H.E. General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Commander-in-Chief of the Dubai Police; H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, RTA Chairman of the Board and Executive Director; H.E. Major General Mohammed Saif Al Zafeen, Director General of Traffic; H.E. Major General Mohammed Saad Al Sharif, Director of the Organizational Office of the General HQ of the Dubai Police; and Colonel Engineer Mohammed Ahmed Al Bastaki, Director of Transport Security at the Dubai Police. From the RTA also attended Abdul Mohsin Ibrahim Younes, CEO of Strategy & Corporate Governance; Abdulla Al Madani, CEO of Corporate Technical Support Services Sector cum Acting CEO of Rail Agency; Ahmed Hashim Bahrozyan, CEO of Licensing Agency; and a host of RTA directors.
At the outset of the meeting, Al Tayer hailed the fruitful cooperation extended to the RTA by the General HQ of the Dubai Police headed by H.E. General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim during various construction phases of Al Safouh Tramway Project.

Al Tayer gave a brief account about Al Safouh Tramway Project; which spans 10.6 km during the initial stage, witnessing the operation of 11 trams, each comprises 7 cabins: one gold cabin, two cabins for ladies & children, and four silver class cabins, adding that trams will shuttle at a headway of 6 minutes. During the initial stage 11 stations will be in operation, each measuring 44 meters and fitted with platform screen doors separating the tram carriages from passengers terminal. All stations will have central air-conditioning systems, automated fare collection machines, and sophisticated surveillance systems as well as audio-visual communication means.

“The manufacturer of trams has started the trial run of the tram operation in a 700 meter-long test track at the facilities of Alstom company in France. The first tram is set to arrive Dubai next December, and the RTA will launch the experimental tests on the tram track in Dubai in January 2014. These tests will continue till the cut-off date for the start of the tram service in November 2014. The RTA has submitted a motion for the Tram system to the Legal Department of the Dubai Government, and will sign during the forthcoming months memoranda of understanding with entities concerned with the tram operation,” explained Al Tayer.
The meeting discussed managing the overlap in the movement of vehicles and tram where the RTA stressed keenness on addressing all elements of safety of all road users, be it pedestrians, tram or vehicular traffic. As for pedestrians, a fence is being set up to segregate the movement of tram and pedestrians throughout the tramway, and signalized crossings are being provided nearby all tram stations. Six footbridges are being provided, including four new bridges to be constructed at certain stations as per the approved plans & specifications, and ample waiting areas being provided at both roadsides. Pedestrian crossings have been designed in a way addressing safety aspects featuring state-of-the-art technical specifications, and pedestrian cross points over the Tramway are being marked with a variety of alert lights.

As for vehicles, pavements have been designed to be elevated to fend off vehicles access or crossing into the tramway as per the approved specifications, and protective rail will also be set up around all tram stations. Due to the importance of junctions where the tram movement intersects with the vehicular traffic, they have been designed in a different manner such that they will be elevated to match the tramway, and barriers are being set up to fend off vehicles access through the openings provided within the intersections.

Attendees discussed the specific tasks of the Dubai Police, where it has been pointed out that besides its responsibility for the dispensation of security to passengers onboard or at stations, the Dubai Police will also cater to streamlining the traffic flow at the intersections of the Tram and vehicles during emergency cases, issuing offence tickets to vehicles obstructing the tram movement, handling accidents impacting the movement of trams to ensure restoring the service back to normal in the least possible time, investigating accidents, and managing the traffic movement at the impacted intersections as quickly as possible.
The two parties agreed to give priority to the tram movement in the intersection points under normal conditions, however, the priority will be given to police, ambulance and civil defence vehicles during emergency situations. It has also been agreed to mount a joint awareness campaign well in advance of the trial operation of the tram to introduce the tram to the public along with the mechanism of managing the traffic at the intersection points, besides cautioning road users against stopping (parking) on the tram track in case of minor accidents.

- Dhahi and Mattar during the meeting

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