RTA justifies bus fare hike

DUBAI — The rising operational costs and increase in fuel prices are the primary reasons behind a sudden hike in the fares of the Roads and Transport Authority’s (RTA) buses to Sharjah and Ajman, a senior official said on Wednesday.



By Shafaat Ahmed

Published: Fri 17 Dec 2010, 12:43 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:55 PM

Khaleej Times on Tuesday broke the news that trips between Dubai and Sharjah as well as Ajman are going to cost an additional Dh2 and Dh3, respectively, which came into effect on Wednesday.

Even as the shock of increased fares are still being felt by more than 20,000 daily commuters between Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman, the RTA says that the hike is justified and goes with the continuous upgrade of the services.

“We have been upgrading and expanding our intercity services, especially to Sharjah and Ajman, throughout the year. We have around 170 buses on various intercity routes out of which 100 buses are deployed for Sharjah alone. The number was not even half of it before the start of this year. This obviously added to our cost,” said Mohammed Abubaker Al Hashemi, Director of Business Development and Strategic Planning Department at RTA’s Public Transport Agency (PTA).

He noted that over the past 12 months, the RTA’s intercity services, particularly to Sharjah, have increased 100 per cent but only 40 per cent fare hike was allowed. That too, he added, was decided after due deliberation and consultation with authorities concerned and experts in the field.

“We consulted with Sharjah Transport officials and our other partners following a survey on the subject and only then we agreed to a minimum possible increase,” explained Al Hashemi.

When reminded that the hike would be an additional burden on people who are under considerable strife in an already murky economic climate, he argued that the fare is cheaper compared to other modes of transport and that it is a natural tendency of people to dislike any increase in expenditure.

However, he said the PTA is planning to further expand its service over the next few months with additional routes and buses between the twin emirates, to provide great satisfaction for its customers.

“You will not find the quality of buses we have anywhere else in the region, with more routes and buses as well as increased frequency we are looking to maintain the standards and for that we need to adjust with the growing expenditure.” Assuring people of no further hike on any of its services, he urged the customers to accept the decision in order to allow the RTA to continue providing high-quality services.

shafaat@khaleejtimes.com


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