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Metro cards are a hit - for parking

Motorists, even those who have no intention of using public transport, are increasingly using the prepaid travel card to pay for their parking spots.

DUBAI // Motorists, even those who have no intention of using public transport, are increasingly using the Metro's prepaid travel card to pay for their parking spots. Last month, motorists used the prepaid Nol card to buy 170,000 parking tickets, according to a senior Roads and Transport Authority official. Mohammed al Mudharreb, the director of the RTA's automated fare collection department, said usage of the Nol card to pay for parking is increasing daily.

Drivers who never use mass transit to travel are beginning to buy the top-up travel card to avoid the hassle of finding themselves coinless when parking their cars. The fact that the Nol card - which can be used for travel on the Metro, buses and water buses - is also handy for parking meters has not been heavily publicised by the RTA, but motorists appear to have cottoned on. "I saw someone else using the card [for parking] and asked them about it. I've used the metro once and had some money on the card," said Sharron Gilipise, 34, from the UK. 

The silver Nol card is the only alternative to coins in Dubai's 3,000 parking meters which do not accept credit cards.  The Nol card can be bought at metro stations, supermarkets and RTA customer service centres. @Email:eharnan@thenational.ae

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