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Thu 26 Feb 2009 06:50 AM

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RTA urges more use of near empty buses

Transport chiefs in Dubai to plan initiatives to improve 'low capacity' on city's bus fleet.

Dubai motorists are being urged to ditch their cars and use public transport as the RTA bids to boost flagging passenger numbers on local buses.

The Roads and Transport Authority admitted buses are running at “low capacity” to near empty, while the number of cars on the roads remains high.

When speaking to Arabian Business, RTA spokesperson Peyman Parham said: “I see buses that are empty all the time. There is public transport for everybody that chooses to use it; the fact that they choose to use their cars is a different story.

“If people use more buses they use fewer cars and there will be less traffic, meaning the buses will be more regular.”

Parham dismissed suggestions that irregular bus services and long journeys for people travelling across the emirate were forcing people to drive.

He added most cars carry an average of 1.6 people, so filling one 60-seater bus with passengers could cut the number of vehicles on the road by almost 40.  The RTA claims it has 1,300 buses and 900 air conditioned bus shelters across Dubai. It plans to launch initiatives encouraging more people to use public transport this year.

“Every city in the world has congestion and nobody has a perfect solution except for maybe Hong Kong,” Parham said. “People choose to use public transport there and if people choose to use it here the traffic will lessen.

“I don’t think many people here have ever used the buses or tried to use them. That’s what we are focusing on this year, to get people to try the buses.”

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Ali 11 years ago

I think the RTA chiefs should start using their public transportation to set an example. How else would they convince others to use the public system if they aren't?

Raj 11 years ago

“I don’t think many people here have ever used the buses or tried to use them. That’s what we are focusing on this year, to get people to try the buses.” The above is not true to my knowledge as most of the middle and high middle class first opt for a mass transport system and if things dont workout they opt for their own vehicle. I am an example. I used to live in Qusais and wake up early morning 5 to take a bus at 6 and reach office at 9 (changing 2 buses) and in return take a bus after 6 and reach qusais by 9:30 or 10 pm, changing 2 buses again. Tried it for couple of months and practically got vexed up with my life and brought a used car and now I start at 8 am to reach office at 9, and in return start at 6 and reach home by 7 or 7:30, now I am happy with my life, but knowingly or unknowingly I am adding up to the traffic, which I cannot avoid. THE BIGGEST QUESTION IN MY MIND IS: W H A T S H O U L D I D O?

Rao 11 years ago

Dear Mr. Peyman Parham, first of all I would like ask you and your colleagues how many times in a month do you travel in the bus, secondly why cant RTA allow pooling system without implementing any fines, third most of the time the buses are full. only after 10.00 Pm might be buses are half empty. I know RTA is trying to solve but they have to act and implement solutions not just the sweet talks. I think you should have more accurate data best of luck RTA

Sam 11 years ago

It’s good to see so many new buses these days. Honestly an improvement in mass transport system. I just hope they did a little more organizing. The routing system they implement is so wrong. I suggest even if it means hoping two or three buses. They should make destination specific buses. Also they should make free pamphlet available for bus routes. People can have one for all routes. I also suggest they do something about queuing foe the bus, it’s difficult to see women struggle to get in when every man is thinking he will not get turn down by the bus driver. The buses are extremely full especially ones which pass by Deira and bur dubai. But I must honestly say it a far better improvement than it used to be. I just hope they can implement more. I suggest you make everyone pay a rationed lump sum amount during VISA process and this way eliminating Tickets all together. People who don’t use the free buses will be paying for it anyways. Pushing more people to use mass transport including the metro. Tourist can also avail the hospitality of free transport. Don’t you think it’s a good idea? All doors open and close women can get in from the front and leave form the front. While the men get in and out form the other doors. That way you use the buses the metros the Abra’s all without any hassle because you any how paid for it. Even if they make it 500 DHs per year for every individual it will be enough to cover all there expenses and even make fair decent profit. Not to mention improve Pollution levels, traffic etc. All the best.

FA 11 years ago

Lets hear a story about how the RTA chiefs and all RTA staff use the busses for at least a week for all their commuting needs. If they can do it for one week - and it is a high exposure story - I think we will see a turnaround. Otherwise these words are empty and do not change the reality a bit - which is that public transport is lacking (and I'm being polite here) and insensible for those who already work long hours.

Bussed 11 years ago

I've checked the RTA website for information on the routes and timetables for their bus services, but didn't find the site too useful. While there was a timetable, there were no maps that I could see to tell me what route the bus followed, so I had no idea how close I could get to my destination. Am I missing something, or could the RTA improve their public tranport information?

ANAR LALANI 11 years ago


khalid 11 years ago

I am regular bus user from last one year but one thing i had noticed myself that at the peak timings (morning 8 - 9 and evening 4 -6) you cant get the bus easily bcz at this time road are jams and regular bus cant combat the situation Solution is that in peak timing their should be increased no of busses so that every one can get the bus so automatically people ll prefer bus rather the car

A.L.S 11 years ago

I would love to make use of the bus system instead of my car ( it would be cheaper).......but its just an inconvenience for me. If I would wish to take the bus to go to & from work , I would first have to travel in the opposite direction, than changes buses several times, and after 3 hours reach at my office instead of just 40min with the car! Adding to that the major traffic jams would cause at least another 1 hour delay. That would be an average of 7hours per day travelling....... The solution: 1) more buses 2) service to ALL areas with regular timings 3) Bus lanes only This city is so young and should have implemented lanes for buses only especially for peak timings. Most major cities have these bus lanes

jenny 11 years ago

it's not necessarily that people don't want to use buses, but the stops are so far apart that they're not practical. if i have a meeting to go to or even if i'm just going out with friends, i don't want to get there stinking and sweaty because the bus stop is so far away from my destination. plus, the lack of pedestrian crossings means that trying to get from one side of the road to the next is very dangerous. if driving is the way to ensure i get to my destination alive and in an acceptable state, then i'll drive.