As the UAE national government pushes for new and more sustainable transport systems, we see a number of initiatives being rolled out by various emirates in accordance with the national thrusts set by the government.
As always, these would mean better services for residents, both local and foreign nationals. This would definitely come into play a big role as the government gears up for important events such as the Dubai 2020 Expo, that is expected to draw in a number of foreign visitors, and potentially cause traffic congestions in key areas in the city.
Abu Dhabi Provides Free Bus Service on these Routes
On Monday (March 24), a free community bus service has been activated covering the interior areas of the city of Abu Dhabi.
According to the announcement, the Department of Transport together with Mushrif Mall signed an agreement to offer free community bus services on three routes namely Sultan Bin Zayed the First Street (Muroor Road), Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Sreet (Airport Road) and Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre areas.
The free bus service will be available from 9 am to 11 pm from within a 10 km radium of the Mushrif Mall. Initially, only two buses will ply the aforementioned routes and will later be expanded, depending on the public demand for this service.
According to Mohammed bin Hamad Al Muhairi, Executive Director of Public Transport Sector at Integrated Transport Centre (ITC), the integrated transport service is a sustainable effort that can help reduce the harmful impact from carbon emissions by limiting the number of cars on the road, to help improve the overall quality of life in the city.
Al Muhairi also noted that the ITC team assisted officials from Mushrif Mall in planning and identifying the best routes and bus stops for this service.
Yusuffali M.A., the chairman and managing director of the LuLu Group, which manages the mall, noted that the free bus service to Mushrif Mall is an important first step in promoting sustainable and eco-friendly living in Abu Dhabi. He also hopes that the success of the initiative will encourage other malls to implement similar green initiatives.
Meanwhile, Mushrif Mall manager Aravind Ravi explained that the free bus service will cover residential (villa) areas that are not typically covered by public transport system.
This means that instead of taking cabs or private cars to get to the mall, people can now go and return to their places conveniently and free of charge.
Ravi also shared that they are planning to use discount coupons for bus riders in the future, “to encourage residents to leave their cars and use public transport instead.
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