x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Delays in bus deliveries postpone RAK's new bus service by two weeks

The launch of RAK's first local bus service has been postponed to mid-May because of a lack of vehicles.

RAS AL KHAIMAH // The launch of RAK's first local bus service has been postponed to mid-May because of a lack of vehicles. Only two of the five 14-seat buses that were ordered arrived in time for tomorrow's planned launch, the RAK Transport Authority (Rakta) said. A minimum of three buses are needed to run the first route between the Jumbo intersection in al Nakheel and the village of Sha'am. The route will have eight stops and will take 80 minutes to cover.

"Two buses will not be sufficient," said Jason Farhat, the Rakta director of commercial and investment affairs. "Within the next few weeks we will put the buses on the first route. We want to make sure the first route is impeccable and then we will move to the second route. "Depending on the demand, we will feed that route with extra buses. If it is stable, we will introduce ? the second route." That route will follow the airport road to Khatt and turn south to Adhen and al Tawain on the Fujairah-RAK border, said Mr Farhat. A one-way trip will last about 90 minutes. A third, running from RAK to Jazirat al Hamra on the south coast and the al Ghail industrial area, would be added in the coming weeks, he said.

The launch has also been impeded by a lack of bus-stop signs. Though the new routes have been in the planning stages for more than six months, the RAK public works department has yet to build any markers at the stops, said Mr Farhat. The public works department was not available for comment. The buses will run hourly with the one-way fare costing Dh5. @Email:azacharias@thenational.ae