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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 November 2018

Fujairah residents call for better public transport

With just one hourly public bus service in Fujairah - residents have asked that more be done to improve public transport in the emirate.

FUJAIRAH // Residents across the emirate have complained that they face a daily struggle because of a lack of public transport.

With only one public bus service in the city, residents have to use taxi services to reach their destination – while walking remains a last resort because of the current weather conditions.

“I walk 25 to 30 minutes every day to get to my workplace,” said Rajesh Data, 32, from India.

“I wish that there was a public bus to use instead of walking under this heat.

“I don’t have a car and if I want to use a taxi I will spend my whole salary on transport,” he said.

Fujairah Transport Corporation (FTC) provides one internal public bus to Dibba that stops in Murbah, Khorfakkan and Diba Al Hisn – it departs every hour from a bus stop near the LuLu Centre.

“I once used the public bus to Dibba from a bus stop next to LuLu hypermarket in Fujairah, I had a job interview there and instead of paying Dh150 for a cab I paid only Dh20,” said Jordanian resident Jamal Khadr, 25.

“Public transport in situations like this is very useful, although I waited for almost half an hour under the burning sun with no bus waiting area or shaded place to wait under.”

The FTC, in association with the Roads and Transport Authority, provides buses to Dubai using Nol cards that depart every hour from a bus station near Fujairah Police Station, according to Abdullah Dayana, a Sudanese businessman who travels between Fujairah and Dubai. He said his trip takes two and a half hours and uses the old road.

“I don’t know why they don’t use the new road,” Mr Dayana, 54, said.

“I travel almost every day to Dubai using the public transport. It is well organised and comfortable, but arriving in Dubai after two and a hours is considered a very long journey.

“The other choice would be waiting for nearly one hour, and sometimes more, to find three passengers to share a taxi cab, which will lead to the same timing problem,” he said.

Travelling from Fujairah to Abu Dhabi is quite difficult and time consuming, according to Joseph Montarel, who is originally from the Philippines and who moved recently to Fujairah, leaving his family in Abu Dhabi.

“I recently moved to Fujairah for work,” Mr Montarel, 30, said. “My wife works in Abu Dhabi and I work here.

“To visit my family I have to spend at least five to six hours travelling using public transport while it takes only two hours by car. They do not provide any public transport directly to Abu Dhabi, therefore I take the bus to Al Ittihad station in Dubai and another bus to Abu Dhabi, it is a very long and exhausting journey. I can’t afford buying a car right now and that will prevent me from visiting my family once a week.”

Mohammed Ahmed bin Ghanim Al Kaabi, chairman of the Fujairah Transport Corporation (FTC) said: “We provide taxi cabs and public transportation from Fujairah to Dibba and vice versa besides daily bus transportation to Dubai and minivans to Sharjah upon request.

“We have 11 internal transport buses and 15 minivans operate between Dubai and Sharjah, from six in the morning until nine in the evening.

“We do increase the number of buses and extend the time [they operate] during weekends and public holidays, as needed.

“The allocation of public transport between other emirates is considered a priority because of its importance in highlighting the role of cooperation and interdependence between them,” Mr Al Kaabi said, adding that the FTC’s main goal was to establish a central bus station once a suitable site had been located and approved.

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