UAE: ITC announces new regulation for operating passenger buses

The service aims to increase safety and security for travellers

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Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Tue 14 Jun 2022, 5:58 PM

A new executive regulation for operating passengers’ transport services by buses has been implemented in Abu Dhabi emirate.

The Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) of the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) in Abu Dhabi announced the implementation of the new service on Tuesday. The regulation was announced to increase the level of passengers’ safety and to regulate passenger transport activities on rented buses, privately hired buses, tourist buses, and public buses. It also clarifies the responsibilities and duties of all entities operating in this sector.

This is part of the continuous effort made by the ITC to establish a safe and sustainable transport environment. It aims to improve the quality of its services and support local development in its various aspects.

The ITC pointed out that all services related to passenger transport by buses would be available on Asateel’s platform ( in accordance with the provisions of the new executive regulations for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The 'Asateel' platform is an electronic system linked to tracking software and a central database that allows knowing the location of vehicles. It enables the concerned authorities to track the movement of vehicles and specify locations in real-time. This streamlines operations and monitors drivers’ compliance with traffic rules.

The platform also allows them to analyse vehicle movement data and use it in planning processes and decision making, as well as extracting performance indicators for both operators and drivers.

Among the platform’s requirements is creating a link with the electronic system, which can be achieved through installing and operating electronic tracking devices in vehicles, or using pre-existing devices or systems used in the vehicle on the condition that they comply with the approved technical requirements.

The regulation applies to all bus operators that operate in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, whether the buses are registered in or out of Abu Dhabi. It consists of the terms that regulate passengers’ transport by buses, the terms and conditions of practising this activity, the requirements to issue public and tourist bus drivers’ permits, standard specifications of the buses, and the penalties in case of failure to abide by the rules.

All services related to permits are provided free of charge.

Firms must obtain permits to operate bus services

The regulation stipulates that practising the activities in this field is prohibited to companies or entities without obtaining a permit from ITC first.

According to the regulations, ITC is permitted to authorise the operation of buses registered out of Abu Dhabi for different durations.

In addition to specifying a number of other requirements that must be adhered to, the regulation prohibits operating buses that are not equipped with air conditioners or do not match the standards and specifications approved by DMT.

The ITC stated that all operational companies and entities working in the field of public transport by buses or any other related activities, should fulfil all requirements and request an operation permit from the ITC and an operating licence for each bus. They must also obtain a 'driver profession permit' for public and tourist bus drivers affiliated with the entity applying for the permit. These services are available on the website of the 'Asateel' platform.

Previous permits which are still valid are accepted at the moment. Upon expiration, the a new permit should be applied for, according to the terms stated in the executive regulation. Operators must also provide the technical requirements to ensure security and safety.

Other requirements state that the operating companies should provide insurance covering both drivers and passengers, and keep regular records of the number of working hours and breaks. They must also prepare detailed programs for regular maintenance for buses and stopping the bus in designated areas.

The ITC will offer companies operating in this field a grace period that extends up to August 1, 2022 to realign themselves with the provisions and stipulations of the regulation.


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