e-ticketing from next month

DUBAI — Bus passengers will no longer have to fiddle for coins to buy a bus ticket as the Roads and Transport Authority’s Public Transport Agency plans to introduce the e-ticketing system by next month.



by

Asma Ali Zain

Published: Thu 5 Apr 2007, 9:03 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 1:36 AM

At a Press conference held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel yesterday, the RTA also announced the purchase of 620 modern buses from pioneering manufacturers, raising the number of the public buses to 1,200. It also said that the new buses will be in place from November 2007 until January 2009.

Explaining the e-ticketing system which will be used in all modes of transport soon, Engineer Mahdi Ali, Director of Public Bus Department at the Public Transport Agency said that two proximity (swipe) cards — Ultra Light (short term use) and My Fare (long term use) — will be introduced to the public in May.

“The fare for each destination will be announced in another two months after the Bus Master Plan for buses will be completed,” he said adding that the fare will be charged according to the destination travelled.

“The implementation of the whole e-ticketing system will continue until the year 2008,” said Eng Ali.

“Coins are no longer preferred because we have noticed that drivers spend more time collecting money than concentrating on driving. Passengers using the bus for a short distance can, however, use coins to buy tickets at bus stations and other convenient locations,” he added.

Eng Ali also explained that the CICO system (check-in-check-out) will be installed near the bus entrances.

“Passengers will be required to swipe their cards while boarding and alighting. The validity of the cards and presence of sufficient credit will be checked by inspectors periodically,” he said.

Mohammed Obaid Al Mulla, CEO of Public Transport Agency said: “The value of the contract signed with manufacturing companies United Motors and Heavy Equipment (MAN) and Solaris Bus and Coach S.A reached over Dh1.4 billion, while the maintenance contract values over Dh558 million for five years.

“The total deal for the buses is Dh1.9 billion,” he said adding that the contract also covered transfer of technical know-how and training. The deal includes 170 double-decker buses, 300 articulated and 150 standard buses.

“Out of these, 550 buses will be used as within the city while 70 double deckers will be used to connect Sharjah and Abu Dhabi,” he added. Each standard bus can seat 70 people, articulate and double decker buses have a capacity for 120 passengers.

The current number of the public buses is 504 buses operating on 69 routes.

“In 2006, around 88 million commuters were transported in over approximately two million trips,” said Al Mulla. He also said that currently only 6-7 per cent of people were using public transport.

“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.


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