UAE: Public transport fare ranks among the cheapest in the world, says new study

People in Sao Paulo, Istanbul, London, Toronto, Paris, Melbourne, Johannesburg, Moscow and Mumbai spend more on the monthly transport pass than Dubai residents when compared to their average net wages


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Sun 26 Mar 2023, 12:23 PM

Last updated: Sun 26 Mar 2023, 6:54 PM

Public transport fares in multiple emirates in the UAE are among the lowest in the world. According to a study released by Picodi, a single public transport ticket costs Dh7.5 in Dubai, Dh6 in Sharjah, Dh5 in Ras Al Khaimah, Dh3 in Ajman and Dh2 in Abu Dhabi.

The fares are much cheaper when compared with the other major cities such as London (Dh19), Berlin (Dh11.8), Melbourne (Dh11.6), New York (Dh10), Toronto (Dh8.7) and Paris (Dh8.25).

Picodi, an e-commerce company providing discount coupons for online stores, said the monthly public transport pass costs $95 (Dh350) in Dubai, accounting for a meagre 2.3 per cent of the average monthly wage in the emirate.

While people using public transport in Sao Paulo, Istanbul, London, Toronto, Paris, Melbourne, Johannesburg, Moscow, and Mumbai spend more on the monthly pass than residents of Dubai when compared to their average net wages.

The monthly passes included in the study allow for unlimited travel with all means of transportation within the city limits. It did not include cities in which multiple operators offer one mode of transport with very different pricing policies as well as those cities where it is not possible to buy a monthly pass.

Many budget-conscious residents of Dubai prefer to use public transport over personal cars. The Dubai Metro is the most popular mode of transport to save money, resulting in a major increase in public transport usage in the emirate.

According to Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority, the ridership of public transport means comprising the metro, tram, public buses, marine transport (abra, ferry, water taxi, water bus), shared mobility (e-hail, smart car rentals, bus-on-demand), and taxis amounted to 621.4 million riders in 2022, an increase of 35 per cent when compared to the ridership numbers in 2021, which was 461 million riders.

Hassan Shaukat, a long-time Dubai resident, often ditches his car in favour of public transport, for he manages to save by changing the transport mode.

“I prefer to travel by metro and public transport as it is economical for me because I have to park my car in paid car parking in different areas for quite a long time. When calculated at the end of the day, I found that I managed to save when using public transport in the emirate,” said Shaukat, a sales executive.

Despite holding a driving licence, M Mohsin, an employee in Dubai, uses public transport within the emirate to travel around to meet his friends.

“I calculated that I will be saving around 20 per cent in my travel costs if using public transport. Taking into account my monthly car maintenance, fuel and parking costs, I save around 20 per cent in my transport cost. Plus, the government also encourages residents to use public transport as it is a more ecofriendly mode,” added Mohsin.


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