Other than my occasional rant here at Gadling, we almost always talk about Dubai's mind-blowing
developments. As much as I think that Dubai's growth, development, and all-round vision is extraordinary, I can't help but wonder: how, in this extended planning phase, authorities forgot to include the development of public transport.
Other than a poor bus system, the 2.2 million residents of Dubai depend on their cars and taxis to get from one point to another. The result? Dreadful and excruciating traffic jams at peak hours.
Dubai has already begun constructing a fully-automated under-and-above ground metro system
(which at the moment has worsened the traffic situation because of the dug-up roads), but until then, their solution to the horrendous
traffic problem is the addition of automatic toll gates (called Salik
) on main roads across the city, that charge $1.10 (Dhs.4) every time you drive through them. This system started last year, and this month, phase two of the Salik system
has begun. The hope is that this will reduce the traffic on certain roads at certain times, but this picture shows what is happening instead.*New addition: Seems like this is actually Moscow, not Dubai, as pointed out by nzm in the comments. Oops. However, this could totally be Dubai, as also pointed out by nzm.)
Along with the increased cost of living in Dubai, Salik will certainly be pinching many pockets, however, the long term plan makes sense. The way the system works, you can be charged up to $6.5 (Dhs.24) a day passing through these gates. This way, the Dubai RTA plans to generate about $11 billion
over a 3 year period, with which 500km of roads will be constructed, and traffic will flow freely again. I really, really hope so, especially because I might be moving back there soon.
[Thanks to BuJassem at UAE Community blog
for the picture]