Artificial intelligence and technology improve the operational efficiency of city buses

H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) Board of Executive Directors, confirmed that the use of advanced technology and artificial intelligence has contributed to improving the maintenance and efficiency of city buses.

Al Tayer outlined the plan to train new Emirati graduates through technical and practical training to prepare them for future jobs in the Maintenance and Service Department in an 11-pronged, 22-month programme. The training is aimed at enhancing the supervisory, administrative and technical skills of the graduates to familiarise them with the specifics of the department.

Al Tayer made the announcements during a meeting with staff of the Public Transport Agency. He was briefed on the results of the Remote Bus Performance Monitoring Centre at Al Kuz Bus Park, working in collaboration with FAMCO. The centre tracks and monitors the performance and efficiency of some 373 Volvo buses in real time using a telematics system installed on new buses to improve operational processes and support maintenance procedures.

The meeting included a presentation of the City Brain system for the development of public transport network planning, which RTA intends to implement this year in cooperation with Alibaba. The system, designed to manage urban transport systems, uses artificial intelligence and advanced algorithms to analyse vast amounts of big data from nol maps, operating buses and taxis, as well as from the company’s command and control centre. It then converts this data into information useful for sending instant notifications of changed bus schedules and routes. The system is expected to increase bus attendance by 17%, reduce average waiting time by 10%, reduce journey times and average bus usage by 5%.

Al Tayer stressed that the RTA will continue to implement public transport and integrated infrastructure and facilities projects to ensure seamless passenger service and contribute to the well-being and happiness of residents.

The RTA recently opened six new public stations: Al Ghubaiba, Al Jaffiliya, Etisalat, Union, Oud Maitha and Al Satwa. Al Ghubaiba Bus Station consists of six buildings covering 2,452 square metres and can serve 15,000 passengers a day. Al Jafiliyah Station has a bus terminal and a multi-storey building consisting of a ground floor, two floors and a roof for vehicle parking. The station has a total built-up area of 19,000 square metres and a capacity of 7,000 passengers per day. The Union Bus Station in Deira consists of three buildings of 2,180 square metres and has a capacity of 7,500 passengers per day. The bus station at Etisalat Metro Station consists of a building consisting of a ground floor and a mezzanine, with an area of 708 square metres and a capacity of 4,500 passengers per day.

The Oud Metha bus station covers an area of 9,640 square metres, consists of a ground floor, three floors and a roof for car parking and has a design compatible with the public transport system in the area. The number of passengers using the station is expected to increase to 10,000 a day in the future. The station has 9 spaces for operational buses, 11 parking spaces for reserve buses, 350 parking spaces for cars and racks for 23 bicycles.

Al-Satwa Bus Station covers an area of 11,912 square metres and consists of a ground floor, one floor and a roof for car parking. Currently, the station can accommodate 7,800 passengers a day and this number is expected to exceed 15,000 passengers a day. The station has 15 spaces for operational buses and 14 spaces for reserve buses, 227 parking spaces, and various facilities for comprehensive passenger services.

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