Buses refuelling on routes enrages commuters

DUBAI - Passengers of certain routes on the emirate's public transport network are complaining about refuelling of buses while on service, and have urged the civic body to look into options to remove the inconvenience.

By Zaigham Ali Mirza

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Published: Fri 18 Jun 2004, 11:05 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:58 PM

Public transport buses that run on circuitous and long routes, such as No. 10 that runs from Gold Souq Bus Station to Al Qouz Industrial Area (3), No. 21 and 32 that also ply between Bur Dubai and the Industrial Area, and several other buses that reach passengers to the outskirts of Dubai City, stop for refuelling with passengers on board.

'I commute to the industrial area every day at 3pm and unfortunately that is the time when the bus is most likely to stop for refuelling at the petrol station near the Third Interchange on the Shaikh Zayed Road. It is an inconvenience to wait for the usual 10 or 15 minutes that it takes the bus to refuel. It sometimes takes longer when there are other vehicles filling up,' says Vijay Divekar, a daily commuter on Route No. 10.

Santosh and Rasul Khan, both commuters from Bur Dubai to the Industrial Area, and depending on their shift at the plant, have often experienced the delay at refuelling stations, but say it is not something they would complain about.

Other passengers, whom Khaleej Times spoke to, pointed out that even if the refuelling was causing slight inconvenience, the public transport department must look into it and try to come up with an alternate solution.

Top official at Dubai Municipality's Public Transport Department feels it is the best solution under the circumstances. Speaking to Khaleej Times, Abdulaziz Malik, Director of the department, pointed out that the practice was limited to buses that run continuously on long routes. 'We feel it is better to include the two or five minutes it takes for refuelling to be part of a bus' schedule, and it is not much of an inconvenience,' he countered.

Citing practical problems as the main reason behind the practice of buses refuelling while on service, Mr Malik said that the department has a tie-up with a particular petrol corporation, which may or may not have petrol/diesel stations at a bus routes origin or final destination. He explained that the fuel capacity of the buses is quite large, so there is no reason to consider increasing it as an alternate solution to the 'mid-way' refuelling. 'But I would like to mention that we are looking into the matter and will hopefully have an alternate solution in the near future,' he said.

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