Abu Dhabi commuters to face toll payments from January 2

Four toll gates in the UAE capital to start operating as Darb system goes live

Motorists entering Abu Dhabi will have to pay for the privilege from January 2 as the dedicated ‘Darb’ toll system goes live.

The four toll gates in the capital can be found near one of the four bridges connecting Abu Dhabi Island to the mainland, at Al Maqtaa Bridge, Musaffah Bridge, Sheikh Zayed Bridge and Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Bridge.

Commuters will be charged AED4 per crossing/vehicle, while there is a AED16 cap per vehicle for private vehicles. Charges do not apply on Fridays or on public holidays.

Regular Arabian Business columnist Alex Malouf, who is corporate communications director MEA at Schneider Electric in the UAE capital, said: “The new Darb toll gate system is going to obviously mean more costs for Abu Dhabi residents and visitors. We live just outside the city, and I go in every day for the school run and for work.”

Those exempt from the charges include, people of determination, senior Emirati citizens, low-income Emiratis and retired Emiratis. The fees will also not apply to taxis, school buses, towed vehicles, public buses with 26 seats or more, electric vehicles and motorbikes.

The Department of Municipalities and Transport’s Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) has also announced the launch of a park and ride service to coincide with the launch of the toll gate system.

The service allows individuals to park their vehicles in dedicated parking spaces in the suburbs of Abu Dhabi Island and use public buses for free to travel to different areas inside Abu Dhabi City.

Malouf said: “I’ll wait and see on the park and ride system – given where I live and where I’m headed to, I have a feeling it won’t be practical.

“What I would very much like to see is a comprehensive public transport system for the city, as well as more investments in e-vehicle infrastructure. If Darb is the catalyst for this change, then we’ll all benefit in the medium to long-term”

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