Open-mindedness is key: flexible work hours proposed as solution to Dubai’s traffic jams

4In a bid to deal with the growing traffic snarls in the emirate, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is studying a number of policies which could help cut traffic. These proposals would be put forward to the bodies concerned in the next few  months for consideration, according to a senior official.

One of the suggestions is the introduction of flexible working hours at government departments. Nasser Bu Shehab, Director of the Strategic Planning Department, RTA, told Khaleej Times that the ‘flexible clock-in/clock-out at work’ will allow white collar employees to come to work and leave flexibly at any time, but it will be mostly between 7am and 3pm, provided they are able to complete seven hours at work. The move will help distribute traffic on the roads.

Bu Shehab pointed out that there are other proposals that would be discussed with the Ministry of Interior and other competent bodies on the federal level in this regard.

He said the RTA had started such a system in early 2011, which had contributed in cutting down the traffic congestion somewhat. “We cannot put an end to traffic jam overnight, but adopting a string of policies could help find a solution to the problem.”

He noted that the RTA raised the flexible working hours policy three years ago, but it was put on hold because traffic flow was smooth at that time. “Now, the RTA is mulling these solutions once again and is planning to further push forward these recommendations so that they can be discussed by the Dubai Executive Council within the coming few months for consideration,” he said.

Asked whether the polices would include limiting the number of cars a person can own, Bu Shehab said that such proposals did not touch on the registration of cars in a particular manner, but it is listed within a group of solutions, and this file would be discussed on the federal level.

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