Thursday , March 4 2021

‘Soft mobility’ makeover for Dubai districts ready next month

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Dubai: Dubai will next month complete the initial phase of a masterplan for “soft mobility” in the three residential areas of Karama, Mankhool, and Al Qusais 1, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said on Saturday.

Soft mobility refers to non-conventional transport such as shared bicycles and on-demand buses.

The move is part of RTA’s ‘First and Last-Mile Strategy’ endorsed in a meeting of its board of executive directors, chaired by Mattar Mohammad Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors of RTA.

First and Last-Mile journeys are defined as the first or last part of a journey leading to, or nearest to, a public transport mean.

These journeys include bus-on-demand, smart rental cars, scooters, electric bikes, walking, cycling, and others.

The strategy aims to integrate soft mobility with the public transport network, starting with the three residential areas.

RTA endorses first and last-mile strategy to link with public transport network
Image Credit: RTA

What will change?

Under the plan, RTA will in March complete various projects in the three areas, such as the integration of transit means that meet the needs of people of determination, including raised pedestrian crossings and speed-calming devices.

The soft mobility elements also cover the installation of cautionary directional signs and markings, building routes shared by vehicles and non-conventional transit means, rest areas with greenery and amenities, and shaded paths to encourage people to practice soft mobility.

RTA will expand the scope of soft mobility this year to cover districts such as Barsha 1 and 2. Next year, it will cover Al Bateen A, Baraha, Al Ras, Al Qusais 2 and 3 and Qusais Industrial Area 1.

By 2024, the number of districts covered by soft mobility in Dubai will reach 27 districts.

RTA endorses first and last-mile strategy to link with public transport network
Image Credit: RTA

Integrated journeys

Al Tayer said: “The strategy sets a framework for the first and last-mile journeys and supports RTA’s efforts to broaden the scope of shared and soft mobility concepts. It entails the introduction of new mobility means, develops an infrastructure friendly to all, and encourages non-conventional transit means.”

He added: “It provides the components of integrated transport and serves the needs of people of determination as well. It requires the provision of cycling lanes, pedestrian crossings, rest areas, shaded areas and routes, landscaping, private rented car parking, bike racks, and pick-up and drop-off points.”


RTA has set a roadmap for the implementation of the first and last-mile strategy. It encompasses initiatives over the next five years involving studies and plans for new transit means. RTA started the implementation of initiatives that serve its objectives such as the launch of on-demand buses, shared bikes, and soft mobility improvements.

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