Dubai public transport drivers set to get residential quarters
DUBAI — Drivers working in the fast-expanding public transport network in Dubai will be provided accommodation with recreational facilities, said a senior Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) official.
In an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times, Mohammed Obaid Al Mulla, CEO of Public Transport Agency at RTA, said residential quarters would be built within the bus depot premises, where maintenance and repair works would also be carried out. “Construction work has already begun on three bus depots and will be completed by year-end,” he said.
He said there would be separate residential quarters for bachelors and families. “We will provide all kinds of recreational facilities for the drivers so that they can work in a relaxed state of mind,” he added.
“We are carrying out a huge public welfare project. We have already purchased 620 modern buses from pioneering manufacturers, raising the number of the public buses to 1,200. The new buses will gradually be in place from November 2007 until January 2009,” said Al Mulla.
He said the Dh1.9 billion deal for 170 double-decker buses, 300 articulated and 150 standard buses would also cover transfer of technical expertise and training.
“Out of these, 550 buses will be used within the city while 70 double-deckers will be used to connect Sharjah and Abu Dhabi,” he said, adding that each standard bus can seat 70 people while articulate and double-decker buses have a capacity of 120. Currently 504 buses are operating on 69 routes.
“We aim to increase the usage to 30 per cent by implementing 13 recommendations in the master plan,” he said, adding that the transport system would cover 95 per cent of urban areas in Dubai within three years.
Al Mulla explained that several important features would be part of the public transport’s strategic plan. “We will have automated vehicles and ensure proper management and punctuality. More room for movement and spacious seats, quality and several other important points will be also ensured,” he added.
“By 2009, public transport will be faster, more reliable and cost-effective. Our target is to provide a higher quality of service with same comfort levels as a private vehicle,” said Al Mulla.
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