Dubai’s latest addition of two new Salik toll gates is set to recalibrate the city’s transportation costs, potentially steering taxi fares and monthly household expenses to a higher course. This strategic move by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), while aiming to streamline traffic flow, underscores the city’s ongoing infrastructure evolution and its impact on daily life.
Impact on Daily Commutes and Expenses
The implementation of toll gates at Business Bay Crossing on Al Khail Road and Al Safa South on Sheikh Zayed Road is not just a concern for car owners but for the everyday taxi rider as well. With each taxi passing through a Salik gate adding an automatic Dh4 to the fare, regular commuters like Mario Gonsalves anticipate an additional Dh8 on their daily travel expenses. For Gonsalves, this translates to around Dh160 additional outlay every month starting from November.
As the city braces for the operation of these toll gates, bringing the total count to 10, residents traversing the bustling Sheikh Zayed Road — the city’s arterial highway featuring the most Salik gates — are recalculating their monthly budgets. Motorists commuting from Sharjah or Al Nahda to Jebel Ali, for instance, are poised to bear the brunt of toll fees twice a day, with a potential daily toll cost of Dh40.
Residents’ Reactions and Adjustments
The ripple effect of the new toll gates is prompting residents to adjust their daily routes. Those accustomed to a Salik-free commute via Business Bay Crossing are now contemplating alternative pathways, although these detours could mean additional fuel costs and travel time.
This financial burden is palpable for residents like Muzaffar, who equates the impending toll charges to the cost of 10 bags of 5-kg rice — a staple in many households. The situation has sparked discussions among the expatriate community about the need for salary adjustments to keep pace with the rising cost of living.
Community Suggestions and Expert Advice
The community response includes proposals for a Salik-free window, advocating for toll-free hours late at night and on weekends to alleviate the financial pressure. Suggestions also extend to the corporate domain, where remote working days could mitigate the impact of daily commutes.
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