Thursday, November 16, 2006

More toll questions...

…and more questions about planning competence.

A PS to my post yesterday about the road tolls being introduced in Dubai…

Today there’s a follow-up report in Gulf News that raises even more questions, and once again demonstrates incompetence in the ‘planning’ process that is creating needless chaos throughout Dubai.

First point is the statement that: “The RTA is still considering whether the toll should be charged round the clock or only during peak rush hours.”


An absolutely fundamental part of the plan hasn’t been worked out yet, nevertheless they’ve decided it will be introduced, where it will be introduced and that it will reduce congestion!

How can they possibly claim it’s a viable plan if they haven’t even thought through something as basic as when it will operate?

Then we have the CEO of the Traffic & Roads Agency stating: “The main idea of the toll system is to reduce congestion and exercise better traffic management on Shaikh Zayed Road, and to make motorists use alternate routes and other modes of transportation.”

“…other modes of transport.” What are they exactly?

Car pooling ain’t allowed, the Metro is years away, buses leave a lot to be desired – and as we have no dedicated bus lanes they get stuck in traffic anyway. And taxi passengers will have to pay the toll on top of the metered fare. So what are the 'other modes of transport'? Aren’t the people who run our roads aware of the facts?

Then we have this very strange example of the ‘planners’ art: “The current plans also stipulate that tolls will only have to be paid if you cross the one of the two crossing points - at Mall of the Emirates or Garhoud - if you join the road at another point you will not have to pay the toll.”

Ummmm? How does that equate to “easing traffic congestion on Sheikh Zayed Road”? A quick detour around the gate and back onto the road.

As for ‘Fees & Fines’, yet more examples, as though we need them, of the quality and competence of the ‘planners’.

Under ‘Tariffs’ we’re told the card and subscription fee (subscription?) is Dh50. The first item under ‘Fines’ shows: “Failure to display the card Dh100.”

Hang on, hang on! What does that mean?

Bear in mind that this is just the first toll road to be announced, there will be many more. So does it mean that all vehicle owners must ‘subscribe’ to and display a card? There will obviously be a method of tracing offenders, so then what? A check on whether you ‘subscribed’ to a card and if you did but didn’t display it you’re hit with a Dh100 fine? Second offence Dh200, third offence Dh400.

But wait…'use of tariff gates by unauthorised vehicles’ means a fine of Dh100. So it’s cheaper to not ‘subscribe’ to a card but to just be an 'unauthorised vehicle'.

Back to the drawing board.

Oh wait, too late. Decisions have been made, the plan is already in place, the operator is contracted, Dh500 million is allocated.

The only person who can sort this out is The Big Boss, but he can’t be expected to get involved in this kind of small detail. So I guess the only chance we have of any sense being brought into the equation is if he could look at the whole ‘planning’ operation, the ability & competence of the ‘planners’ and the obvious and urgent need for major changes.


CG said...


The most worrying part of this is that they want to bring about 'change' yet are unable to see what exactly (or should I say whom) needs to be changed.

trailingspouse said...

You have to wonder if these "planners" actually live in Dubai. One of the stated aims is to make drivers use alternate routes. Well, hello, they are already looking for alternate routes to SZR in order to avoid congestion. Has anyone taken a look at Al Wasl Road lately during the morning or evening rush hour?

Anonymous said...

You seem to have nothing good to say about Dubai anymore. Perhaps you need a holiday?

moryarti said...

sensible questions ... really

Seabee said...

anon, I am not complaining about Dubai I am complaining about the people who do Dubai a

Anonymous said...

Anon at 8:34 PM

Lets hear you say something good about dubai. I tried for the last 10 minuts and nothing. Just sat there numbly trying to think of something and ...lets see some of the stuff that popped up..

A job that pays well....down the drain. With the current inflation and rent hikes the pay is not good any more.

Ok Just be happy that you have a job , but I cant you see.. The prospect of maybe having to send your family back home, the sinking feeling that you'll never be debt free,the tensions at work and the main tension being getting there on time. 5 to 10 minute delays ok.. but sometimes it hours.I dont know about the others but it's not very easy for me to walk in an hour late .It would have been ok if the guys in management were late too , but no they are there on time because they can afford to live close by.

The Glitz and glamour....what glitz and glamour?Its just an ad they show on TV.

All the new!!...but sometimes I wonder if I am indirectly funding the construction

The Shoppping.... I once saw a watch displayed for AED 24000/-. I think it was the cheapest on the display.Window shopping is so much fun.All I shop for nowadays are groceries...

The Night life/ bars / pubs/ restaurants... either its too tacky or too posh to be able to afford.Can't complain about the restaurants though.Lots of great restaurants .One good point that, but does it really matter.

Places to go..ADH,alain,khorfakkan,Dhaid,Hatta...Oman??

Oh The shopping festival thats coming up...Takes your mind off your worries for a while.

SO all that and it boils down to the fact that if you have lots of money it might be fun to live in Dubai.