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Youth to determine future of transport.

Dubai's RTA calls students to join in discussions at the International Association of Public Transport Congress

Dubai The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai are calling on all students in the UAE to join in a discussion about the future of the emirate's public transport.

The RTA is working in collaboration with the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) to host the 59th UITP congress for the first time in the region. Running in association with the congress, the RTA has joined up with Youth for Public Transport (Y4PT) to host online forum discussions. The Y4PT is a global youth-led group interested in urban issues related to mobility.

"We are targeting the universities to get a fresh perspective," said Dr Khalid Mohammad Al Zahed, Deputy Project Manager of UITP 2011 Local Host Committee, RTA. "We are confident we can get some valuable ideas from the students to maybe formalise these ideas to develop as policies approved by the UITP."

The UITP is the international network for public transport authorities and operators, policy decision-makers, scientific institutes and the public transport supply and service industry.

Mutual benefits

The RTA is set to host a series of workshops at the American University of Dubai, Zayed University and Dubai Women's College to encourage students to log on to www.youthforpt.org and join in the debate, before the congress in April.

Through the website students in the UAE can connect with others worldwide and discuss ways to establish safer and more effective transport systems that work towards innovation and sustainability.

"There is almost nobody in the world who doesn't use a mode of transportation be it bikes, cars, buses, metros or water transport," said Dr Al Zahed.

"Therefore, everyone should have input or a say on how to improve it to establish safer and smoother modes of transport."

Due to the collaboration with Y4PT, the RTA will have full access to the student online discussions, which will later be used as market research.

"If any of the ideas are feasible we will definitely use them, this is one of the main reasons we are doing this," Dr Al Zahed said.

"We pay consultants to conduct studies in this field, while we are sitting on thousands of fresh student ideas."

Dr Al Zahed adds that participating in the online discussion about public transport holds mutual benefit for both the RTA and the participants.

"When they discuss such initiatives with thousands of students the outcomes are immensely important to them as well," said Dr Al Zahed. "It's an added value and something students can add to their CVs."

KAREN DIAS/Gulf News

We are confident we can get some valuable ideas from the students to formalise and develop policies approved ?by the UITP."

Dr Khalid Mohammad Al Zahed

Deputy Project Manager of UITP 2011 ?Local Host Committee, RTA

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Mar 6, 2011
Words:489
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