RTA awards contracts to procure 316 buses worth $126 million
The contracts cover 143 deluxe Volvo coaches, 79 double-decker MAN buses and 94 medium-size Optare buses
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai has endorsed contracts for the procurement of 316 multi-size buses worth $126 million (AED465 million). The buses are compliant with the European emission standards featuring Euro 5 and Euro 6 buses for the first time in the MENA region.
The contracts cover the procurement of 143 deluxe Volvo coaches, which will be deployed to cope with the expansion of inter-city bus service to Abu Dhabi and northern cities. It also includes 79 double-decker MAN buses to serve urban areas with high-density riders and 94 medium-size Optare buses to serve new communities with the aim of widening the geographical coverage in Dubai and improving occupancy rates.
The RTA pioneered the use of standardised on-road test (SORT) to compare fuel consumption between different buses, in the GCC. The pre-qualification of suppliers was based on standards including the ability to manufacture, supply and maintain buses according to approved international standards as well as the financial solvency of local dealers. The introduction of asset acquisition cost concept as a criterion for the assessment and procurement of buses contributes to enhancing the principles of financial and environmental sustainability of buses and ensuring the operational efficiency throughout the lifetime of buses. The RTA plans to expand its fleet to 2085 buses by 2019.
The new buses are characterised by low-floor access to ease the boarding of people of determination, top-notch services for public transport riders, high-end interior finishing and roomy seats. They also boast of children-designated seats, WiFi service, and USB portals for charging smartphones as well as smart connectivity.
Inter-city Volvo coaches are fitted with Euro 6 power efficient engines with low carbon emissions. Each bus can accommodate 55 riders and has an automated hydraulic lift for serving People of Determination. The coaches also offer free internet service, USB portals for charging mobile phones, footrest, and cup holder to provide added convenience to riders. The double-deck MAN bus can accommodate 100 riders and is also equipped with free internet service and USB portals for charging mobile phones. The buses offer improved accessibility between decks, streamlined internal passenger movement, and customised design to serve people of determination.
Optare buses are making a debut in RTA’s fleet. They are intended to offer a wider coverage of internal areas which are not easily accessible to large buses. Each bus can accommodate 33 riders, and is fitted with free internet service and USB portals for charging mobile phones as well as deluxe seats.
Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors, RTA, said: “The procurement of the new buses is part of a master plan set out to upgrade mass transit systems in Dubai and keep them aligned with the highest global practices. The plan also calls for providing best-in-class services to mass transit users and keeping abreast of the sustained growth of ridership of these modes. It conforms to RTA’s endeavours to make public transport the ideal mobility choice of people and push the share of public transport in people mobility to as much as 30% by 2030.”
“Achieving such objectives requires offering high-quality public transport options at affordable rates and with a wide geographical coverage. It also requires raising the public awareness, transforming the culture of using mass transit means, and boosting the integration of all public transport means including buses, metro, tram, taxis and marine transit modes,” he added.