x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Free shuttle services from Abu Dhabi city to F1 scrapped

Race fans crossing the water from Abu Dhabi city to Yas Island are being encouraged to take the bus this weekend.

ABU DHABI // Race fans crossing the water from Abu Dhabi city to Yas Island are being encouraged to take the bus this weekend.

The shuttle service of previous years is no more but public transport will take the strain. The 12-bus service will be expanded to 140 buses and 370 staff, with drivers working six-hour shifts.

Abu Dhabi will rent buses from Dubai to ensure regular routes are unaffected by Grand Prix services.

“It was necessary to keep our services running without moving the buses from the main service,” said Saeed Al Hameli, general manager of the bus division at the Department of Transport. “This will help us in future to improve the working relationship between us and other emirates for big events.”

There will be 1,000 taxis on Yas Island, with more after the race and concerts, and 1,000 taxis in the Corniche area to avoid city-centre shortages.

Taxi ranks and bus stops will be immediately outside the du Arena this year. Spectators can turn right when they exit the arena to catch a taxi or left to catch buses to other Yas island venues or the city.

As in past years, 50 Takatof courtesy cars will be available to elderly visitors, the sick or disabled. Visitors can approach Takatof volunteers, police or organisers if they need to order a car.

There are 10,000 spaces in the north and south Gateway car park on Yas Island. The Gateway route will connect the car park to the grandstands from 9am until 5pm, and the grandstands, the du Arena and the car park from 5pm until an hour after the concerts. There are 70 buses on the route.

Five free Grand Prix bus routes will carry fans from the north and south Gateway car parks to Shahama, for those coming from Dubai, and around Yas Island.

City buses to Yas Island stop at Sheikh Zayed Sports City and the bus station at Al Wahda, and pass through Khalifa Street at Markaziyah and on to Saadiyat Island.

Routes 170, 180 and 185 go to Yas Island hotels. Route 190 goes to Ferrari World. Routes 200, 201 and 203 go to Yas Island from Shahama.

Routes 300, 302 and 304 go to the island from Al Shamkha through Al Reef. Route 195 goes from Saadiyat to Yas Island and Route 170 goes from Abu Dhabi Airport to Yas Island.

azacharias@thenational.ae