Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Dubai to Start Toll System For Motorists From July 2007

Come July; Dubai will start charging tolls to motorists. The toll system; known as Salik will be introduced in only two areas, one on Sheikh Zayed Road and the other near the Garhoud Bridge in Deira. Commuters will be charged AED4 every time the point is crossed. Is this a good move to reduce Dubai's chaotic roads? My answer is more of a NO than a yes. Yes because it will partly address the bad congestion on Sheikh Zayed road especially in the mornings. It might cut traffic by 25% on this road.

But I am afraid this is not a permanent solution. Traffic on other roads will get even worse since people will avoid paying tolls. Both Jumeirah Beach Road and Emirates Road are packed in the mornings as it is, and now there will be even more traffic on these roads as daily commuters will try avoid paying the tolls on SZR. These roads are ill equipped to handle additional traffic. Worse; the toll system will be for 24 hours. Even in the still of the night like 3 am the motorist is not spared!

The toll system in my opinion should have been introduced only when the metro system was up and running. Without a proper alternative taxing commuters by way of tolls is not justified. The city bus transportation is pathetic and inadequate. Two wheelers are not an option because of the lousy weather for most of the year. And the metro will be operational only by late 2009.

The pictures highlight the the way the toll system will function.

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