Since July 1, 2007 residents of Dubai have been contemplating on introduction of more toll gates on Dubai roads. RTA had been refuting them since then.
Today RTA proved itself capable of being a political organization. They made it open to residents that from September 1 (when Dubai residents normally come back from annual vacation) Dubai shall have 2 more toll gates covering one more road. Reason for introducing this toll system on Dubai roads
- it reduces traffic congestion (they claim present gates have reduced congestion “at gates” by 25% and travel time is reduced by 50%.
I am sure both these parameters are measured past midnight when there is little traffic. Also the parameters are measured at gates…which might be true as people take alternative routes to avoid the toll gates and then come back to main road again to keep the congestion issue alive. I have been travelling on present toll road past 4 years regularly and have observed traffic congestion levels unchanged during peak hours.
The congestion can be well attributed to
- too many cars on road, incidently Dubai boasts of highest per capita cars in world
- barely visible public transport system
- restrictions on car pooling with friends or colleagues…to push the taxi business owned by some influencial people
- too much of road works to cater to imported population (it is increasing at about 15% annually)
- concentration of residential as well commercial building on few roads
- going vertical in construction than horizontal
The Salik (toll) is nothing but a ploy to make more money from primary users who are expats. Somewhere the officials are only working towards expansionary policies of money and no social obligations.