RTA endorses 'First and Last-Mile' strategy

RTA endorses 'First and Last-Mile' strategy

DUBAI, 29th February, 2020 (WAM) -- The Roads and Transport Authority, RTA, board has endorsed the 'First and Last-Mile' strategy that advocates a healthy and active lifestyle by offering multiple mobility options integrated with mainstream public transport network.

The strategy was endorsed during the authority's board meeting led by Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, RTA Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors.

‘First and Last-Mile’ journeys are defined as the first or last part of a journey leading, or nearest, to a public transport mean, be it public or individual transit means. Which include bus on-demand, taxi, limo, smart rental cars and shared public/private transport within the first and last-mile range. They also include individual transit means such as scooters and electric bikes in addition to non-mechanical transit means like walking, biking, and others.

The ‘First and Last-Mile’ Strategy is based on three pillars: sustainability, shared mobility and safety of users.

According to a statement by the RTA, the newly endorsed strategy "fits well" with the authority's objectives of making roads and transit means friendly to all. "It also boosts the integration with public transport means, promotes shared and mass transport, and contributes to developing effective policies and legislations for transport, roads and traffic," it added.

Al Tayer explained that the strategy sets a framework for the first and last-mile journeys and supports RTA’s efforts to broaden the scope of shared and soft mobility concepts."

It entails the introduction of new mobility means, develops an infrastructure friendly to all, and encourages non-conventional transit means such as walking, biking, e-scooter, on-demand buses and shared mobility means, he noted, adding that the strategy also provides components of integrated transport and serves the needs of people of determination (persons with disabilities) as well.

The strategy also requires the provision of cycling lanes, pedestrian crossings/rest areas, shaded areas and routes, landscaping, private rented car parking, bike racks, and pick-up and drop-off points, the RTA Director-General continued.

He added, "Through the strategy, RTA aims to integrate the first and last-mile journeys with public transport network, encourage the accessibility of first and last-mile transit means, and meet the market and community needs. It also includes processes for assessing new transit means to encourage the deployment of new transit means in Dubai and keep pace with the latest industry trends, within an organized framework and studied criteria."

RTA set a roadmap for the implementation of the first and last-mile strategy. It encompasses initiatives over the next five years involving studies and plans for new transit means. RTA started the implementation of initiatives that serve its objectives such as the launch of on-demand buses, shared bikes, and soft mobility improvements.

In March 2020, RTA will complete the initial phase of a master plan for soft mobility covering three residential areas namely Karama, Mankhool, and Al Qusais 1. The plan envisages the development of a friendly and integrated environment through enhancing the link between development projects and attractive areas and the use of non-conventional mobility means.

It caters to the integration of transit means that meet the needs of people of determination as well as other related elements like raised pedestrian crossings, and speed-calming devices. Soft mobility elements also include the installation of cautionary directional signs/marks, building routes shared by vehicles and non-conventional transit means, rest areas with greens and amenities, and shaded paths to encourage people to practice soft mobility.

RTA will expand the scope of soft mobility over this year to cover districts like Barsha 1 and 2. Next year, it will cover Al Bateen A, Baraha, Al Ras, Al Qusais 2 and 3 and Qusais Industrial Area 1. By 2024, the number of districts covered by soft mobility in Dubai will reach 27 districts.