Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has launched the test run of the first hybrid abra; preserving the authentic design and features of the traditional abra as well as marking RTA’s first hybrid marine transit.
During a ride aboard the hybrid abra, Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of RTA, heeded to a briefing by Ahmed Hashim Bahrozyan, CEO of Public Transport Agency, about the features of the new abra; which has a capacity for 20 riders.
It is powered by a 20KW electric motor and has a lighter weight, thanks to the use of cutting-edge technology. It has 26 Lead Crystal Batteries and solar energy panels along with a standby generator to recharge batteries when running low in power. It has an automated firefighting system that will be activated when batteries are overheated. The abra has battery ventilation and cooling system, and USB ports for recharging cell phones.
The Hybrid Abra is characterised by low carbon emissions which are 87 per cent lower than petrol-powered abras. It reduces fuel consumption by 172 per cent and therefore saves about 134 per cent of fuel cost. Its operational and maintenance costs are 83 per cent lower compared to any traditional abra and reduces the noise level to the minimum.
The Hybrid Abra will be operated on a trial base on Al Seef- Al Ghubaiba line; one of the key marine transit lines linking four stations (Al Seef, Baniyas, Dubai Old Souq, and Al Ghubaiba). The fare will be two dirhams only for transiting between two stations.
The RTA’s Master Plan envisages the construction of 11 new marine transit stations in Dubai over the period of 2018-2020, thus raising the number to 58 marine transport stations in Dubai by 2020, said Al Tayer.
“It also encompasses the manufacturing of 11 boats to bring the total number to 61 boats by 2020. New lines will be opened on Dubai Creek, Jumeirah beach, new islands, and the Dubai Water Canal as well as the Ferry service between Dubai and Sharjah,” he elaborated.
“The number of marine transport modes & stations is expected to receive a big boost with the completion of property developments along the two banks of the Dubai Water Canal. It will make marine transport the ideal choice for the movement of citizens, residents, and tourists; offering them enjoyable rides at the backdrop of an impressive skyline along the Dubai Creek and the Water Canal.
“The RTA has recently launched Al Garhoud Maintenance Workshop for marine transport means (abra, ferry and water taxi) spanning an area of 5000 square meters. It comprises five workshops, three warehouses, crane, marine works zone, outdoor work area, management offices and staff’s rest house,” concluded Al Tayer.