Dubai: Give your car a break and hop on to a bus, Metro or waterbus as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) celebrates the third Public Transport Day on November 1, offering free transport to all Nol card holders for a day.
Aimed at popularising the ever-growing network of buses and Metro in Dubai, free transport is available for all who hold a Nol card.
It is already a popular initiative as the number of people using public transport on November 1 increases every year, with 693,221 people using it last year, up from 515,828 in 2010.
This year the RTA is targeting 800,000 people to use public transport on this day and, according to Eisa Abdul Rahman Al Dossari, Chairperson of the Organising Committee of Public Transport Day events, the public transport network currently has the capacity to handle even more passengers.
“We are ready for the big day and we are targeting 800,000 commuters. Hopefully we will have more. Our network, both Metro and buses as well as waterbuses, has the capacity to handle any demand and we are confident of converting more people to public transport through our service,” said Al Dossari.
The RTA has already launched a marketing campaign to make people aware of the initiative while also attracting commuters to the benefits of using public transport.
One of the advertisements suggests that using public transport makes people richer, while another suggests that travelling by public transport could lead to a healthier and fitter lifestyle.
Explaining the campaign he said: “When a person uses public transport, his/her lifestyle changes. There will be a compulsory 20-30 minute walk up and down to catch the bus or Metro on the way to office or home. Using public transport also saves a lot of money which people use on cars, Salik, fuel and other related expenses, which means more savings.”
He said RTA has planned activities leading up to November 1, which will entertain people while driving home the benefits of public transport.
On the day, regular uses of the Metro and buses are to receive surprise gifts as well as special offers on Nol cards and other promotions.
He said apart from social benefits there other advantages of taking up public transport. “Greater use of public buses also brings about other environmental benefits as they have a definite contribution to reducing air pollution rate, improving public health levels, and increasing per capita as well as the overall productivity. It also reduces congestion on roads and reduces fatalities,” he added.
With the ever-widening network of buses and rising popularity of the Metro the number of public transport users has increased over the years and the upward trend has continued this year, with 53 million riders from January till the end of August.
Public buses, Metro and water bus rides free of charge starting from 1am up to midnight on November 1.