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UOWD receives the RTA DAST award

Thursday, 10 February, 2011

His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed al Maktoum presented UOWD President, Professor Rob Whelan, with a trophy to recognise the Universitys efforts in encouraging use of public transport.

The RTA held its 3rd annual "Dubai Awards for Sustainable Transport (DAST) on Wednesday evening, to recognise and celebrate the achievements of many organisations in alleviating traffic congestion and conserving the environment in Dubai. In his speech at the ceremony, the Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, Mattar Al Tayer, said: "Mass transport modes in Dubai have become a dynamic system for the daily mobility of commuters as ... about 910,000 persons use public transport including buses, taxis, Metro and water transport every day."

UOWD was honoured for its entry entitled: "Why should you drive if you can ride the Dubai Metro?" In a new initiative in 2010, the Universitys Property and Services Department, under its Manager Mr Eduardo Hamzi, started a shuttle bus service between the nearest Metro station and the university. This was aimed to further the culture of public transport among staff and students, thus minimising the number of private vehicles, alleviating parking congestion at the University, and reducing carbon emissions.

Mr Hamzi reported that this initiative has been spectacularly successful. "Numbers of users grew steadily through the year he said. The University regularly collected feedback on use of the shuttle bus service. As a result, bus timings and pick-up points were changed: the timing was changed to every 10 minutes (previously 30 minutes) and the location was changed to DIC station (previously Mall of the Emirates station). "We had 6,366 users of our shuttle service per month by the end of the year. Mr Hamzi reported.

Professor Whelan said: "I congratulate the RTA on these awards. This is a great way to raise awareness of issues, highlight effective initiatives so that others may take them up, and change human behaviour. I am especially pleased that UOWD has been recognised in this way for its contribution to sustainable transport in Dubai. Professor Whelan acknowledged that the initiative was a whole-of-University effort, but he singled out Mr Hamzi and the Property and Services team for making it all happen.

To reinforce the convenience of the Dubai Metro and the importance of using public transport, the President and senior UOWD staff led by example and travelled on the Metro to and from the awards ceremony, and took the UOWD free shuttle bus from the University to the Internet City station. "It was a stress-free trip that was just as quick as car travel. said UOWD Executive Director, Mr Raymi van der Spek.