‘Smooth sailing’ say Sharjah-Dubai commuters

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Two toll gates went live today, one near the Airport Tunnel on Beirut street, and the other on either side of the Al Mamzar bridge

It was smooth sailing traffic through Airport Tunnel this morning, as the new toll gate went live.

Unlike a day back, there was no bumper-to-bumper traffic crawling through Airport Tunnel.

The 27km drive from Al Nahda to the Safa Park, was clocked in little over 25 minutes.

It used to take commuters a little over 45 minutes to travel the same distance till yesterday.

Motorists were seen zipping through the tunnel, a novelty at 7am.

Despite cribbing initially, some early risers actually welcomed the new toll gate.

“This just means a smooth ride to work every morning. I already feel refreshed just by looking at the near-empty roads,” beamed Neelesh, who travels from Muhasinah to Jebel Ali every day.

Another commuter claimed it just might be too early to celebrate.

“I just hope it remains like this every day. I just can’t believe how a Salik gate reduced the traffic so drastically,” added Devi, another daily commuter.

“It is going to cost us, but if it means less traffic then I am all for it.”

The situation, however, was not as pleasant at the Mamzar toll gate.

Early commuters tweeted their verdict.

“#Salik activated – But same traffic on Dubai Shj Road. Lol,” tweeted a resident.

“So Salik at Mamzar has not had any effect on traffic on ittihad road… I refuse to pay road tax without any remedy for traffic,” wrote another.

Two new Salik toll gates went live in Dubai from today in a bid to reduce the Dubai-Sharjah traffic congestion.

This has brought the total number of Salik gates in Dubai to six.

One new Salik gate has been installed near the Airport Tunnel on Beirut street, and the other on either side of the Al Mamzar bridge.

The Mamzar twin toll gates, effectively work as one, with only Dh4 charged for both crossings.

Each Salik crossing charges a motorist Dh4.

The maximum daily charge is capped at Dh24.

“About 1,500 vehicles are expected to be diverted from Al Ittihad and Beirut Roads to the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road and the Bypass Road [which has since been renamed Emirates Road],” Mattar Al Tayer, RTA’s Chairman of the Board and Executive Director, said in an earlier statement.

“People will be more encouraged to use public transport means and accordingly contribute to realising RTA’s strategic objective of raising the number of trips made by public transport means to 20 per cent by 2020.”

According to Al Tayer, the launch of “Phase III of the toll gates system was made after conducting exhaustive traffic and field studies of the first and second phases, particularly after the lapse of more than one year since the operation of the Green Line of the Dubai Metro, and more than three years since the operation of the Red Line of the Dubai Metro”.

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