x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Abu Dhabi bus-fare details still not known

Bus passengers will have to wait to learn the cost of riding the bus in the new year, when the new payed-for service begins.

ABU DHABI // Bus passengers will have to wait to learn the cost of riding the bus in the new year after the Department of Transport scrapped an announcement detailing new fares. However, Saeed al Hameli, general manager of buses for the DoT, said customers would still have to start paying from Jan 1. He said the department had added some details to its plans that required approval from the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.

In addition to the tariff, the department will announce the details of a bus-pass programme for passengers. The bus service for the island, which has been free since its introduction in June, has been popular. About 50,000 people use buses daily, according to DoT surveys. Passengers interviewed on a bus yesterday were anxious to know how much they would have to pay for the service. "People take the bus just because it is free now," said Li Jai, 34. "If they charge more than one dirham, I think no one will use the bus."

With the addition of two routes on Monday, there are nine bus routes on Abu Dhabi island. By the end of next year there will be about 750 buses, compared with about 270 now. By 2010, the number will reach 1,360. mchung@thenational.ae