Sharjah: The authorities have urged bus passengers to buy ‘Sayer' e-payment smart cards in January to eliminate complaints of not receiving the exact change from drivers when buying a ticket.
Authorities have urged passengers to buy the smart cards and use them in Sharjah Transport buses.
Fahd Al Awadi, General Manager of the Kuwait-based KGL Company, which is franchised to run public buses in the emirate, said: "We have received numerous complaints from passengers about not receiving the proper change.
"This is why we want passengers to purchase the Sayer cards. Their payment will be deducted electronically from the card and they will not have to worry about not getting their change back."
The e-cards are expected to be launched by the second week of January. They will be customised with a picture of the passenger printed on them.
The Sayer card will allow passengers to top up their cards at vending machines that will be set up at Al Jubail Station (near the fish market) and Shuwaiheen Station, in amounts of Dh90 or Dh180.
Al Awadi pointed out that the vending machines are currently undergoing testing. Once they are declared satisfactory they will be installed in more locations.
"By introducing the e-cards we are trying to limit the use of cash that will also benefit frequent users. By March we expect to introduce the monthly subscription system, which will benefit university students," said Al Awadi.
The Sayer card will offer users a 10 per cent discount, so the average trip will cost Dh3.60 instead of the current Dh4 while the express routes will be charged at Dh4.50 instead of Dh5. People with special needs will pay Dh3.
The three express routes run from Sharjah International Airport to Al Rolla, Al Saja'a Industrial Area to Al Ittihad Road, and Al Saja'a Industrial Area to National Paints Roundabout.
"The e-cards will also reduce misuse of bus tickets. Anyone noticing bus drivers taking back a ticket and trying to resell it to other passengers are urged to file a complaint immediately," Al Awadi said.
Errant drivers face a fine of Dh1,000.
Further improvements to the bus service include installing bus shelters equipped with route maps, in addition to providing a lay-by for buses on roads.
"The main obstacle we face is the city's infrastructure. Once the infrastructure is completed it will be easy for us to install the bus shelters," Al Awadi said.
- To report the misuse of bus tickets, passengers can call the toll-free number 6000 5 222 82.
- At present, residents can view the nine bus routes at www.mowasalat.ae
What do you think of the new scheme? Have you faced any problems with the current system? Add your comments below.