Monday, January 6, 2014

Dubai’s Efficient Approach to Road Pricing

Salik (road toll)(Wikipedia)

Also discussed here: Dubai's Salik experiment makes a clear case for toll roads(Alice Haine, The National, Jun. 28, 2012)

And here: Salik Official Website(Roads and Transport Authority, Government of Dubai)

And here: Salik Road Toll Dubai(Dubai FAQs Forum)

Today we review Dubai’s road toll system, called “Salik” meaning open or clear, the first road tolling system in the Middle East. Since opening in 2007, Salik has been expanded by adding more toll gates to congested roads, especially enroute to the airport. The key feature is the use of a Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) affixed to the windshield which triggers a deduction of about one dollar US (or 4 AED) from a prepaid charge card each time the vehicle passes a toll gate, equipped to detect the RFIDs automatically. The results include shortening the travel time by 50% and shifting traffic to less used roads, as well as creating a source of revenue(600 AED or $200 M US approx. per year) to maintain the roads, paid for by users of the roads.

 Salik_Tag Salik's_Al_Garhoud_Bridge_Toll_Gate  

Key Quotes:

“Salik, meaning open or clear, is Dubai’s road toll collection system. First launched in July 2007, Salik is a free flow tolling system that operates without toll booths, barriers or gates, allowing traffic to move freely through tolling points at highway speeds.”

"The system was introduced to relieve the congestion and direct traffic to other arterials in a way to achieve a system optimal solution of travel time”

 “Motorists are required to buy a 100 AED pre-paid card that is affixed to their windscreens. 4 AED ($1.08) will automatically be deducted from their account each time they pass through a toll gate”

“SALIK tags are 'passive' RFID tags. 'Passive' tags are powered by the transceiver in the toll gate and no battery is required for the tag itself.” “Studies have proven that Salik has succeeded in slashing the trip time on the Shaikh Zayed Road by as much as 44 per cent…from 34 minutes before the initial 2007 phase of Salik to 19 minutes now.”

"Everyone's got their little tag and there aren't any more questions about it - the gates are almost invisible. And the road system has improved dramatically. “

“The RTA have said they expect to generate annual revenue of about 600 million dhs from Salik.”

“The use of this technology enables the traffic to continue flowing through the toll gates as opposed to vehicles having to stop and pay a monetary toll as on more traditional toll gates. The fees are currently relatively low, when compared to other major cities such as London”  

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