Sharjah: Passenger bus traffic seen reaching pre-pandemic level by 2022-end

RTA in Sharjah trying to encourage people to use public transport by offering new initiatives.



File photo
File photo
by

Waheed Abbas

Published: Tue 8 Feb 2022, 4:23 PM

Passenger traffic on Sharjah buses is improving steadily after the decline due to the Covid-19 and has recovered to 75 per cent of the pre-pandemic level, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Fahad Al Awadhi, CEO of KGL Passenger Transport Services in Sharjah, expects that passenger traffic reach the pre-pandemic level by the end of this year with the help of different initiatives that the company is taking to encourage people to use public transport.

In 2007, the Roads and Transport Authority of Sharjah awarded KGL Passenger Transport Services of Kuwait the right to operate the emirate’s public transport network.

“When coronavirus broke out in 2020, the Sharjah government decided that public transport is essential even during the lockdown as people had to go to hospitals to help patients. So public transport had to continue operating. In the first five months of the pandemic, ridership went down by almost 90 per cent. But we continued to provide transport service to the public with the help of the government because it was our corporate social responsibility,” added Al Awadhi.

“But the ridership has been improving steadily and we are now around 75 per cent back to normal which is almost the same level as the global rate of recovery in ridership,” he added.

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Al Awadhi revealed that the company and the RTA in Sharjah are trying to encourage people to use public transport by offering a free ride to the elderly aged above 60 and the people of determination.

“This helped us a lot to be closer to our customers. Hopefully, the ridership reach 100 per cent of the pre-pandemic level by the end of the year,” the chief executive of KGL Passenger Transport Services, said, adding that the company had planned to expand operations in 2020 but then the pandemic broke out.

“Right now, we are just maintaining the operation successfully and after 2023, we are thinking of expansion as there will be more clarity,” he concluded.

-waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com


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