Jet-powered water taxis on their way

Forget queuing in traffic and hop aboard a water taxi in 2009.

A fleet of innovative water taxis powered by Rolls-Royce waterjets is being introduced in Dubai by the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) to help improve transport infrastructure.

The first of ten catamaran-based vessels, a modern version of the traditional abra water taxi, is scheduled to carry out sea trials in August 2009. Deliveries are due to be completed by early 2010 and, if the water taxis prove successful, there is significant potential for future orders from the RTA.

Each water taxi is capable of more than 30 knots and will be able to carry 11 passengers. They will work around the Dubai Creek as well as the Dubai coast to provide a more modern, flexible and integrated public transport service.

“Waterjets are ideal for these taxis because they a practical way of driving fast vessels and are most efficient at speeds of about 30 knots and upwards. They are lightweight, simple to maintain and provide excellent manoeuvrability,” Esa Uotinen, Rolls-Royce Regional Manager - Marine, said.

The taxis, to be built by the Damen shipyard in the Netherlands, will each have a pair of FF310 waterjets built by Rolls-Royce at Kokkola in Finland, it said.

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