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Three new bus routes for Jafza

Shafaat Ahmed / 27 February 2011

DUBAI — The Jebel Ali Free Zone Area (Jafza) will soon have three new bus routes that would connect its various zones to the Jebel Ali Metro Station as well as serve as its internal bus network, a senior official at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) told 
Khaleej Times.

The bus routes will start with the opening of the Jebel Ali Industrial Metro Station next month, easing the mobility of thousands of workers who have limited means to travel internally as well as outside the area.

“We have conducted a survey in the area to find out the kind of services required and the number of potential customers. We have found that the demand is quite high and we are planning the routes accordingly,” said Mohammed Abu Baker Al Hashimi, Director of Strategic Planning and Business Development, speaking exclusively to Khaleej Times.

Catering to the high demand for the services, mainly by low income category, more than three dozen bus stops are planned. The spaces for the stops have been allocated and the work on the lay-bys has also been started on a few locations.

“There are around 10,000 workers either living or working in the area and our target is to attract at least half of them. We are in touch with the developers of the Free Zone and all the arrangements are being done in cooperation with them,” Al Hashemi added.

Around six buses are planned on each of the three routes that would cater to different location.

F54, which will like the other two routes start from Jafza Metro Station, will serve the entire Jafza South; F55 will cater to the commuters in the vicinity of Jafza Office tower area; and F56 would serve the Jafza waterfront area.

These three routes would be in addition to the existing feeder route F50 that shuttles between Ibn Batuta and Jafza North. However, the route would be realigned once the Jebel Ali Station opens.

“The four routes would serve the entire zone for the initial phase and around the second quarter of this year we will introduce more routes. We want to see the demand first and once we are satisfied, we will come up with the next phase,” said Al Hashimi, promising more buses in the future.

The buses would be running at a frequency of 10 minutes and will include articulated, normal as well as double-decker coaches.

The news comes as a big relief for thousands of workers living and working in Jafza who have perennially struggled to travel internally as well as outside the free zone. Commuters from the area have complained of the inadequacy of the transport services to the area, especially since the introduction of Metro, when the two popular bus routes 90 and 91 that shuttled between the city and Jafza were cancelled.

They have since called for reintroduction of the bus routes or the opening of Metro stations in the area.

“This opening of the metro station next month is such a big relief for us and the introduction of new bus routes is an added bonus. We thank RTA for listening to our demands. This will certainly help us travel better,” said Mohan Das, who travels between Jafza and Bur Dubai five days a week.

Commuters from Bur Dubai currently face a lot of hardships to reach Jafza, since the routes 90 and 91 were cancelled.

“We have to either catch a bus from Al Ghubaiba to Khalid Bin Waleed Station to board a metro or take bus x92 from Al Ghubaiba which is almost always completely packed. So, this new decision by the RTA is reason to celebrate and we are looking forward to it,” said Noor Alam, a Bangladeshi who works as a plumber in Jafza and lives in Bur Dubai.

The Jebel Ali Industrial Metro station and the three routes will start by mid-March.

shafaat@khaleejtimes.com

 
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