News | UAE

Intercity buses get Nol connectivity

RTA expands automated payment system on routes connecting Dubai with other emirates

  • By Shafaat Shahbandari, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 19:00 August 4, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: GN Archive
  • Nol connectivity allows commuters to travel hassle-free without having to wait in long queues to make payments for trips before they board the buses

Dubai: Passengers on intercity routes between Dubai and other emirates can now use Nol cards to make payments as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) expands the network of the Unified Automated Fair Collections System, RTA has announced

Gulf News had reported in June when work on the expansion of the payment network began on selected routes between Sharjah and Dubai.

With the connectivity on the Dubai-Sharjah routes now complete, RTA has now embarked on expanding the network on routes connecting Dubai with other emirates.

“Seeking to constantly develop the public transport sector and facilitating movement of inter-city passengers, the Public Transport Agency (PTA) at RTA has activated the use of Nol, specifically in public buses between the emirates of Dubai and Sharjah,” said Adel Shakri, Director of Transportation Systems at PTA.

He added that as the trial period of the service has been completed successfully on the Dubai-Sharjah buses, PTA is now carrying out work to implement the system on all routes connecting Dubai with other emirates.

Nol connectivity allows commuters to travel hassle-free without having to wait in long queues to make payments for trips before they board the buses, while also enabling them to use the same payment mode for other modes of transport as well as parking.

“The major advantage of having a smart card is that it enables passengers of public transport to pay electronically for inter-city trips inside the United Arab Emirates in just one single swipe of the card without have to worry about having enough. It also saves effort and time wasted in waiting for long periods in queues in front of the ticket box office,” pointed out Shakri.

The Nol payment system currently covers the Dubai Metro network, Dubai city buses and water buses as well as the parking meters in Dubai. It is also used as a combi-card, a co-branded card issued by RTA in association with Emirates National Bank of Dubai that works both as a Nol card credit/debit card at the same time.

Apart from intercity buses, work is also under way to introduce Nol along with credit card payment system in taxis in Dubai.

“We are currently working on the implementation process and integrating the Nol with the taxi’s D8 system and it should be ready soon. Implementation will be done in batches, with a few hundred taxis getting the upgrade at a time and, over the next six months, all taxis, including those owned by franchises, should be ready,” said Yousuf Al Ali, CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency.

All types of Nol cards, accept for the red tickets, will applicable for both taxis and intercity buses.

RTA’s intercity buses make around 900 trips on 12 routes to and from different emirates carrying 35,000 passengers daily, while ridership on seven routes between Sharjah and Dubai alone is 17,000.

A unique mode of payment and one of a kind system in the region, the Nol card has won international acclaim and recently won the Best Prepaid Card in the Middle East Award in the Smart Card Awards Middle East 2013.

Since its launch in September 2009, around 5 million Nol cards have been issued, with around 1 million transactions carried out through various uses of the card.

Comments (5)

  1. Added 13:51 August 5, 2013

    I would also like to suggest to RTA to think and plan a dedicated road or a lane for RTA Bus service between Dubai Sharjah Dubai which will save travel time. This will be a boon to all the users who can save time to reach their offices instead of using own transport. Further please clarify, if this new NOL connectivity will facilitate INTERCHANGE facility between city buses and Dubai Sharjah Dubai service (Like Metro & Feeder Bus or City Buses)

    SYED J. HUQ, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 11:51 August 5, 2013

    It is very good step from RTA to give some relief for the passenger who are traveling daily from Dubai to different emirates. But my question is that the RTA do some proper arrangement for recharge the nol card and its recharge only in Dubai? Or other part of emirates do they provide the recharge system. Thanks.

    Naveed Hamza, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 11:26 August 5, 2013

    Very good move from RTA in connection with other emirates public transport services. Hope with this facility RTA can, board commuters on the way instead of boarding only from the starting point.

    Binoy, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 11:23 August 5, 2013

    This is a welcome step to have the Inercity busses with Nol connectivity. However, I guess there is an urgent need to have a dedicated Bus Rapid Transit system between the emirates to boost the connectivity. There is no use if the ticketing system is automated but the bus is stuck in traffic. Bus Rapid transit system can be easily executed in the UAE and will boost the UAE's connectivity and efficiency in terms of transport infrastructure.

    Spark, Bahrain, Bahrain

  5. Added 10:48 August 5, 2013

    Excellent payment method, it not only saves long queue to buy ticket but also saves change problems and delays. On Dubai Sharjah Dubai route will there be any discounted fares on NOL card payments??

    SYED J.HUQ, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

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