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Dubai Future Council for Transportation reviews post-COVID-19 transportation challenges

18 Jul, 2020

His Excellency Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Chairman of the Dubai Future Council for Transportation, chaired a remote meeting of the Council. Attendees included RTA board members as well as a host of local and global future fore-sighting experts.

The meeting reviewed the global practices reflected in fighting Covid-19 on public transport to protect riders and employees. It also pondered the future of transportation post-COVID-19.

The meeting also discussed procedures RTA had adopted in tackling the pandemic, which were typical to the top practices charted by the UITP to ensure a safe and secure environment for all. RTA focused on three aspects: disinfection, protection of users and employees, and physical distancing in transit means and stations. RTA succeeded in maintaining the continuity of customer services, thanks to the transformation of all services into smart services deliverable via digital channels and a website run 24/7.

Transportation experts in attendance were unanimous in rating the preparedness of the global transportation sector during the Covid-19 pandemic at 4 out of 10. They also noted that the response of Dubai's transportation sector to the pandemic was comparable to the response of developed countries such as Taiwan and Singapore, although Dubai was not previously exposed to SARS outbreak as were those countries.

The meeting went further to discuss challenges the pandemic had brought on the transportation sector, and how to overcome them. It also reviewed prospects and potential changes in the field of transportation during the post-COVID-19. Studies anticipate an upsurge in the number of journeys via flexible mobility means and autonomous vehicles. Based on such deliverables, RTA will tailor future scenarios to cope with the current situation.

At the end of the meeting, Al Tayer praised ideas and initiatives proposed by members of the Dubai Future Council for Transportation. He stated that ideas echoed the directives of leaders to envision the future, identify challenges, and keep pace with the evolution of the transportation industry.

Attendees included John Roth, President and Managing Director of GM Africa and the Middle East; Laurence Batlle, President of RATP Dev Executive Board; Mr. Ralph Barron, ADL Partner; Mr. Jerome Glenn, Futurist and CEO of the Millennium Project; Prof. Peter Jones, Professor of Transport and Sustainable Development, University College London (UCL); Colonel Mohammed Ali Karam, Director of Traffic Technologies Dubai Police; and Abdulla Al Madani.

Attendees from RTA included Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO of Public Transport Agency; Amair Saleem, Director of Knowledge and Innovation; and Rashid Al-Sheikh, Decision-Support Manager.Dubai Future Council of Transportation is one of 13 councils that form the Dubai Future Councils overseen by Dubai Future Foundation.

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