Commuters fret as packed RTA buses skip halts

DUBAI — Hundreds of commuters in Dubai have to go through a harrowing experience everyday when they wait for long periods for the buses to arrive, and when they do arrive a few of them do not halt at the designated bus stops. This is a common refrain from many of the daily commuters.

By Joy Sengupta

Published: Sat 10 Nov 2007, 8:38 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:35 AM

Senior officials of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) agree that the never-ending road congestion in Dubai was one among the major factors for the delay in arrival of buses.

However, senior officials told Khaleej Times that efforts were on to reschedule the timings and improve the bus network in a bid to make things run smoothly.

Some of the commuters whom Khaleej Times spoke to said travelling in public buses has become very difficult. Saransh Dheer, who works in a bank said, “The conditions are particularly bad in areas like Al Wasl and World Trade Centre. On an average, I have to wait for at least an hour for a bus to arrive. Waiting for buses consumes most of my time and I cannot work properly. Almost all the buses come packed with people and most of the times they don’t stop.”

Priyansh Khatri, another bank employee, said, “There are so many new buses seen these days. We come across the long buses (articulated buses) plying on the streets. But still the conditions are the same. The pressure areas include Bur Dubai, Karama and the World Trade Centre. The worst things is when one waits for a particular bus for nearly an hour and when the bus finally arrives it does not stop as it is already packed.”

The RTA has already stated that it plans to have a total of 1,200 buses by 2008. Most of these buses would be articulated ones, both single and two trailers. The RTA recently introduced the articulated buses on some of the designated routes.

Sources in the RTA said these buses as well as double-deckers would be operational on most of the routes from early next year.

Abdullah Yousif Al Ali, Director of the Public Buses Department in the RTA, said, “We understand that the conditions are difficult. Most of these buses pass through very congested areas. Because of the high number of commuters the buses get packed very quickly. That is the reason why the packed buses do not stop at some of the stops.”

“As for the delay in arrivals, road congestion is the major cause,” he added.

“The Planning and Business Development Department of the RTA is working in this connection. We are in the process of rescheduling the bus timings and further improving the bus network. The rescheduling of the timings would help and the waiting time would be reduced. We are confident that the problem would be solved in a short time,” added an official.

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