Page content

Back to list

A plea for rail transportation

Trains on rails

"Rail transportation plays a crucial role. It is inherently sustainable as it takes cars and trucks off the road," said Adhraa Al Mansoori, Acting Director of Public Policy & Sustainability at Etihad Rail. "By shifting the majority of transportation from road to rail, Etihad Rail aims to reduce carbon emissions and take pressure off the roads in the UAE. This is also in line with the country's overall sustainability goals," she adds. Sustainable transportation is in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda. It contributes directly to 13 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, existing transport systems must be decarbonized and the growing demand for passenger and freight transport, which is expected to double by 2050, must be met.

Sustainability in a broader sense

For Etihad Rail, the benefits of rail go beyond sustainability: it promotes inclusive economic growth, creates jobs and brings financial benefits. Al Mansoori cites the Moroccan state-owned rail transportation and infrastructure company ONCF as an example: "With the support of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Etihad Rail's partner, ONCF, inaugurated a 320-kilometer-per-hour high-speed line in 2018."

In 2022, ONCF's high-speed train "Al Boraq" carried 4.2 million passengers, resulting in a profit of over 280,000 euros (301,000 dollars) per year for the municipality, 825,000 fewer cars on the roads, 150 fewer accidents per year and a significant reduction in carbon emissions.

Etihad Rail's goal is to bring about change in the UAE and encourage people to switch to public transportation.By 2030, Etihad Rail aims to carry 36.5 million passengers and provide fast, safe and comfortable intercity travel on its network, reducing congestion and travel times.

Multimodal connectivity

Etihad Rail is also focusing on multimodal connectivity, working with public transportation authorities to coordinate the network with existing and future different modes of transport to create a national integrated system covering the UAE's major cities and regions.The collaboration with companies such as Uber aims to incorporate ridesharing services to standardize travel planning."With this ambitious project, the UAE aims to balance economic growth, environmental protection and improved connectivity to create a socially transformative, financially rewarding and promising future," said Al Mansoori.