The Integrated Transport Centre Intensifies Efforts of Sustainable Transport According to Abu Dhabi's Vision and Sustainable Development Goals

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The Integrated Transport Centre Intensifies Efforts of Sustainable Transport According to Abu Dhabi's Vision and Sustainable Development Goals

Published: Thursday, 07 December, 2023

The Integrated Transport Centre Intensifies Efforts of Sustainable Transport According to Abu Dhabi's Vision and Sustainable Development Goals


The ITC’s efforts are in line with the UAE Year of Sustainability goals, during which the UAE is hosting the UN’s Conference of the Parties (COP28)


Following the objectives of UAE’s Year of Sustainability, the same year the country is hosting the UN’s Conference of the Parties (COP28), the Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) of the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) in Abu Dhabi is actively promoting sustainable transport by establishing the necessary infrastructure, adopting modern sustainable transport solutions, and developing an integrated network of smart and environment-friendly transport systems that mainly rely on sustainable energy and therefore contribute to reducing carbon emissions.


Committed to achieving the sustainable development goals set by the UAE government, the ITC has intensified its efforts during the current year to support sustainable transport solutions by providing sustainable transport alternatives, including smart electric and hybrid vehicles, smart electric buses, bicycles, and scooters. The ITC aims at supporting Abu Dhabi's efforts in reducing carbon emissions, providing diversified transport options to the community, and supporting the economy and environment, as well as promoting the vision of the wise leadership in creating smart and sustainable cities that achieve a better quality of life for its citizens.


A clear strategy for sustainable transport

The Integrated Transport Centre's sustainable transport strategy is based on the use of alternative clean energy sources in the public transport sector to act as a substitute for conventional fuel and therefore optimize energy-saving and environmentally friendly public transport. The goal is to establish smart mobility projects and support relevant infrastructure and legislation, in addition to providing a modern transport system that combines safety with technology and sustainability in a way that benefits society. Furthermore, the ITC strives towards supporting the objectives of the Department of Municipalities and Transport in terms of urban planning and sustainable transport in cities which promotes sustainable economic development in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.



Reducing carbon footprint of bus transport sector

Public transport buses are one of the main means of transport used by residents and visitors of Abu Dhabi on their daily commute between residential neighborhoods, tourist destinations, shopping centers, business areas, and cities of the Emirate. As part of its ongoing endeavors to provide sustainable services in this sector, the Integrated Transport Centre has been keen to continuously modernize the public bus fleet and operate the latest, less polluting, and environment-friendly buses. Eco-friendly buses currently constitute 42% of the total bus fleet, most of these buses run on "Euro 6" engines that are compliant with the European low carbon emission standards.


To keep pace with the accelerated developments in this sector, the Integrated Transport Centre is currently collaborating with the South Korean city of Changwon and the Korea Transport Institute to promote Abu Dhabi's leadership in the field of clean and sustainable energy. This will be achieved through establishing the infrastructure needed to charge and operate hydrogen-powered buses, including the development and design of specifications for the hydrogen refueling stations, in addition to preparing procedures for the operation and maintenance of hydrogen buses in Abu Dhabi. These efforts aspire towards reducing carbon footprint and establishing a sustainable transport environment that provides a better quality of life in the Emirate.


A taxi fleet that is 80% eco-friendly

Eco-friendly taxis (hybrid, electric and hydrogen) constitute 80% of the total fleet of 6,390 taxis operating in Abu Dhabi. Of these, 2,556 taxis are hybrid vehicles that make up 40% of the fleet and reduce fuel consumption by approximately 50% compared to regular vehicles of the same category. The complete fleet of taxis includes 2,492 vehicles that operate on natural gas, amounting to 39% of the operating taxis in the emirate. Natural gas is regarded as a clean, safe and economical alternative to traditional fuel, as it contributes to a significant reduction of air pollutants, thereby achieving environmental sustainability. In the same context, the number of All-Electric Vehicles in the taxi fleet is 30 taxis, 25 of which are private taxis (limousines), and 5 of which are public-use taxis. The ITC plans to increase this number over the coming period, within a strategy aimed towards achieving an eco-friendly and sustainable transport system.



Shaping the future of a smart and sustainable transport sector

As part of its ongoing efforts to provide innovative and sustainable transport solutions that actively contribute to its future vision, the Integrated Transport Centre has launched the Smart Mobility Project on Yas and Saadiyat Islands, which currently includes a fleet of 17 self-driving vehicles operating under the "TXAI" brand on a network of routes spread across the two islands, in addition to a Mini-Robobus service, and the operation of 15 charging stations for electric vehicles. Moreover, the Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) for mass transport, has been actively operating autonomously without transport tracks or rails in Yas Island.


In support of the establishment of the necessary infrastructure required to operate electric vehicles, more than 300 electric charging stations have been set up in Abu Dhabi up to date, while the number of electric vehicles registered in Abu Dhabi has exceeded a total of 6,500 vehicles.


The Integrated Transport Centre seeks to provide quality services to members of the community and to promote the digital transformation of Abu Dhabi. The transition towards smart transportation supports the strategy of the Department of Municipalities and Transport and the ITC regarding the use of autonomous vehicles within an integrated, environment-friendly, and sustainable transport system that enriches the customer experience and enhances the quality of services provided to the emirates' residents and visitors.



Providing eco-friendly mobility options

For the purpose of diversifying mobility options in Abu Dhabi and promoting a sustainable culture through the use of bicycles, electric bikes, and scooters as sustainable and environment-friendly means of transport, in addition to being the healthier option that enhances wellness and happiness of community members, the ITC is therefore collaborating with relevant strategic partners to develop infrastructure and public facilities for eco-friendly transport, that provide a safe, integrated and sustainable mobility environment. In this context, the network of cycling and walking tracks in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi reaches 1,015 km: 680 km of which is across the city of Abu Dhabi and its suburbs, 265 km of which is in Al Ain and its suburbs, and 70 km of which is in Al Dhafra region.


To encourage the use of bicycles as a healthy and environment-friendly means of transport, the Integrated Transport Centre has offered a new service that provides space for bikes on buses, which enables cyclists to complete the last mile of the journey to their destination. The service is provided to meet the needs of residents and visitors who may need the service as it connects the city's main hubs with tourist locations, sports facilities, and recreation attractions.


It is worth highlighting that reducing carbon emissions in the public transport sector and enhancing environmental sustainability is a priority of the Integrated Transport Centre's strategy as we move forward into the future. The transition towards sustainable transport aligns with Abu Dhabi's wise leadership’s vision to become a smart, environment friendly and sustainable city in terms of its services, lifestyle, and transport. It also supports the UAE’s strategy to reduce GHG emissions and achieve Net-Zero target by 2050.