x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Free shuttle bus to Metro boost for Dubai commuters

Emaar is hoping the service will encourage people to think more about using public transport and help to reduce traffic on the roads.

Femie Sinclair (from left) and Nahla Issa take the free shuttle from The Greens to Dubai Internet City Metro Station. The shuttle is provided by Emaar to residents of The Greens and its commuters. Razan Alzayani / The National)
Femie Sinclair (from left) and Nahla Issa take the free shuttle from The Greens to Dubai Internet City Metro Station. The shuttle is provided by Emaar to residents of The Greens and its commuters. Razan Alzayani / The National)

DUBAI // A free shuttle bus is helping residents in a Dubai neighbourhood make a quick and environmentally friendly start to their morning commute.

The newly launched service takes people living the Emaar communities of The Greens and The Views to and from the nearby Internet City Metro station.

The developer hopes it will encourage people to think more about using public transport and help to reduce the number of cars on the emirate’s roads.

Residents said it was a welcome move, although there was some confusion initially about where the bus would pick up passengers.

“I have seen the notices that were put up in my apartment block a few days ago,” said Jennifer Peters, from the UK.

“I only realised that one of the pick-up points was where they had put up a larger version of the notice, it’s easy to miss. It was pretty empty when I went on it but I think once more people know about it, they will start using it.”

The bus picks up passengers at the Greens Village shopping centre, at Street 7 opposite the Mosela building and at the Dubai Internet City station every 15 minutes, Sunday to Thursday from 7am to 10am and 4pm to 7pm.

Harish Patel, from India, praised Emaar for the initiative but said it should be expanded.

“I think they should do something similar for places like The Springs and The Meadows if they can,” Mr Patel said. “If they are really serious about getting people to leave their cars at home then they should have a wider service.”

Some residents were not as impressed. “I’m not sure we need this to be honest,” said Abdul El Hashem, from Egypt.

“We already have a normal bus service that connects The Greens to the Metro, although that one takes a while. It’s good that it’s free but I don’t think people are prepared to give up the convenience of using their cars.”

The real test of its success would come once the summer temperatures soar, residents said.

“I can’t imagine people waiting out in the summer heat and humidity to catch this bus,” said a British resident. “During the cooler months I prefer to walk to and from the Metro so I doubt there will be a need for the bus then.”

But others felt that it would make it easier for people.

“This is really handy for me,” said Sarah Greaves, from Canada, who does not have a car. “The stop is a one-minute walk from my apartment and it will save me the hassle of walking around with loads of shopping bags.”

An Emaar spokesman said: “Emaar has worked with its homeowners to offer this private bus service to our community residents and visitors ... we are reviewing new routes and will introduce them as and when they are finalised.”

nhanif@thenational.a