DUBAI // Nol cardholders will be able to zip around the emirate for free today on the Metro, buses and water buses for the Roads and Transport Authority's third annual Public Transport Day.
Festivities include a street party on Al Seef Road between 5pm and 9pm, and RTA employees will hold quiz shows at bus shelters and Metro stations to award commuters with iPads, bikes and Nol cards.
"Through the Public Transport Day initiative, which is fixed on the first day of November each year, the RTA is looking to encourage different community segments to leave their cars at home and use different means of public transport in the emirate," said Mattar Al Tayer, chairman of the board and executive director of the authority.
The RTA estimates that 10 per cent of the Dubai population uses public transport. It aims to achieve 30 per cent by 2030.
"The number of public transport users in the first half of this year reached 207,480,000 passengers, compared with 180,544,372 passengers in the first half of 2011," said Mr Al Tayer.
Hussain Al Banna, director of traffic at the Traffic and Roads Agency and deputy head of Public Transport Day said: "This year's celebrations revolve around showcasing the health benefits to users of public transport."
The RTA has worked with the Dubai Health Authority to hold health workshops at the Dubai Healthcare City Metro Station and the Airport Terminal 3 Metro Station.
A blood-donation drive will be held at Al Ghubaiba bus depot, and the first 100 donors will receive free Nol cards.
Metro users can win a bicycle if they find one of 10 keys hidden at selected stations on the red and green lines.
"We also have a contest for which participants can upload pictures to the RTA Facebook page," said Mr Al Banna.
"Six winning photos will be selected and the first three finishers will receive iPads. The other three will win Nol cards with a balance of Dh500 per card."
Some radio stations have each been given 10 Nol cards with a balance of Dh250 to give away to their listeners.