All types of marine transit modes in Dubai, UAE clocked 6.63 million passengers during the first half of 2017, with Abras accounting for the largest share of commuters, amounting to 6.25 million passengers, said the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
"Transporting 6,638,468 passengers in six months by marine transit modes is indicative of the public’s desire to use these services, which offer their passengers an enjoyable and convenient journey," Abdullah Yousef Al Ali, CEO of the Public Transport Agency at the RTA was quoted as saying by Wam, the Emirates official news agency.
"Abras of all types, whether traditional, electrical or air-conditioned, have accounted for the lion’s share of passengers, transporting as much as 6,251,358 people during the first six months of this year. The attractiveness of the abras to their passengers highlights their nature as a traditional marine transit mode, with a unique blend of the past and the future. The Water Bus came in second by transporting 243,020 passengers, followed by ferries with 127,385, which is still ahead of water taxis that ranked in fourth, serving 16,705 passengers," he added.
"The RTA always aims to provide convenient services to marine transit passengers and to tailor them to the needs and expectations of our customers, whether for mobility or tourism purposes. Our logistical support services are currently in place, to ensure enhanced services such as passenger safety and efficient transit lines, among others. The RTA is always keen to capitalise on the expertise of countries with advanced marine transit modes, and it reviews the latest techniques and trends in manufacturing and improving marine transit vehicles. Recently, the RTA has reviewed the experience of Norway, to obtain further exposure to its electrical propulsion systems, and the best ways and means it adopted in this regard," he explained.
"The coast of Dubai offers a hospitable environment for marine transit passengers, who span various community segments, especially tourists. The local means of transportation offer passengers a picturesque and panoramic view of Dubai’s beaches and skyline, comprising of historical buildings, luxury hotels and imposing iconic landmarks with the sea waves in the background, as well as its latest addition, the Dubai Water Canal, which offers a perfect and rich cruising experience. The RTA always seeks to develop strategic plans for improving marine transit modes to world-class standards and enhance the profile of Dubai amongst the world’s top metropolises," Al Ali concluded.