x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Free Metro rides to become an annual event

Good news for those who were unable to take advantage of the free Metro rides today - Public Transport Day is to become an annual feature.

Rithesh Shetty takes the Dubai Metro for the first time on Public Transport Day.
Rithesh Shetty takes the Dubai Metro for the first time on Public Transport Day.

DUBAI // There was good news for those who were unable to take advantage of the free Metro rides on offer on Monday - Public Transport Day is to become an annual feature.

"We hope to have a unified public transport day for all the emirates eventually," said Eisa al Dosari, the chief executive of the Roads and Transport Authority's public transport agency. "Public Transport Day will be marked every year. We did our best to promote the day through television, radio, pamphlets and brochures but we always have room to develop and improve it next year."

A tracking system was in place yesterday to log any increase in user numbers as a result of the free rides, Mr al Dosari said.

Commuters new to the system were pleased to be given the opportunity to use it without charge.

"It's my first time on the Metro. I wanted to learn some of the routes and make full use of the day," said Rithesh Shetty, 26, from India. "I think more new people would be encouraged to use it on a day like this because they can ask for information and try different routes."

Metro users and station agents said they noticed a marked increase in the number of people milling about as compared with the average workday.

"It feels like a holiday for public transport users," said Randy Jaen, 32, from the Philippines. "I usually go to work at this time and there are normally less people."

 

balqabbani@thenational.ae