ABU DHABI // Three routes have been added to the city's bus network, bringing the total number criss-crossing the island each day to seven. Routes eight, nine and 44 join routes five, seven, 32 and 54, which have undergone several changes. Route eight begins in Al Khubeirah district, running from a stop by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the intersection of Zayed the 1st Street (7th) Street and Bainuna Street (34th) Street to the Tourist Club area at the City Terminal on 12th Street. Buses will run along Bainuna Street, up Al Falah Street to Airport Road, then up Zayed the 1st Street and Hamdan (5th) Street.
Route Nine departs from the same stops, but travels up Hazza bin Zayed (11th) to Karama (24th) Street before carrying on up Al Falah Street. Route 44 runs from the Tourist Club at the intersection of 10th Street and Al Falah Street to Zayed Grand Mosque. Unlike routes 54 and 32, this new route diverts from Airport Road to make stops along Karama (24th) Street, Khaleej Al Arabi (30) Road and near the Abu Dhabi Police college on Fourth Street.
Buses on the new routes will run 20 minutes apart. The first of about 60 buses in operation starts running at 6.20am, on route 54, while the last buses leave on routes seven and eight at 11.35pm. Bus network maps have been posted at the Department of Transport's 400 bus stops, while staff are in the process of posting individual route maps at every stop. The service is free until the end of the year; the Government has not yet announced its upcoming fare scheme. By 2010, there will be 1,360 air-conditioned buses operating in the emirate. There are also plans for air-conditioned bus shelters and bus stations featuring a mix of retail, food and beverage, and banking outlets.