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Bus shelters keep public cool despite faulty doors

Some self-closing doors on air-conditioned bus shelters can be wedged open, although cold air cannot escape, an official has said.

  • Public bus users take advantage of the air-conditioned shelters. Image Credit:Megan Hirons/Gulf News
  • Out of the 1,000 air-conditioned bus shelters planned in Dubai, 49 are currently operational with 16 on JumeirImage Credit:Gulf News
  • The air-conditioning in bus shelters runs on cabled electricity. Image Credit:Gulf News
  • Temperatures inside the shelters are kept at 22C. Image Credit:Gulf News
  • In some places two shelters are installed next to each other to accommodate all the passengers. Image Credit:Gulf News
  • Image Credit:Gulf News
Gulf News

Dubai: Some self-closing doors on air-conditioned bus shelters can be wedged open, although cold air cannot escape, an official has said.

Video: Dubai's air-conditioned bus shelters world's first

Of the six consecutive shelters tested by Gulf News on Jumeirah Beach Road, half could be pushed until they stay open by themselves.

Passengers were also observed holding doors open, despite signs instructing them to close doors.

Raman Multani, CEO, Right Angle, which is constructing the shelters, said that a team was deployed the same day and that the problem has been solved. He also explained that the air-conditioning doesn't escape outside when the doors are opened.

"A team went down and investigated the same day and reported back that the doors were functional on the shelters that are open.

"The doors on the shelters are spring-loaded, so they shut with their own momentum. When the door is opened an air curtain switches on, to make sure that the cold air doesn't escape out and the hot air doesn't come in. Five minutes after the door is closed, the air curtain switches off," he said.

Of Dubai's planned 1,000 air-conditioned bus shelters, 49 are currently operational, with 16 on Jumeirah Beach Road. Multani said that the shelters are being constructed and opened in phases, depending on when the electricity is connected by DEWA.

"We are going as per the schedule given to us by the RTA. We've now installed more than 400 bus shelters on the roads of Dubai. The cabling needs to be done by the RTA and DEWA, and as soon as this is done, they will be opened in phases," he said. In some places, Multani continued, such as Jumeirah, two shelters are being installed next to each other, because of reports that there were many passengers waiting for buses.

Currently, the air-conditioning in bus shelters runs on cabled electricity. According to DEWA statistics, power consumption increased by 3,281GWh from 2006 to 2007 and the number of consumers increased by 63,769 in the same time period.

Services: Public satisfaction

Julie, 33, a secretary from the Philippines, who uses the air-conditioned bus shelters on Jumeirah Beach Road, said: "The air-conditioned bus shelters are good, because of the hot summer. The only thing is that they're quite small, with lots of people coming in. I go in the shelter twice a day, going and coming back from work. The buses do stop, but it's better to go out and wave your hand to make sure it stops. But everything is fine, it's nice, it looks good and it's quite comfortable."

Temperatures inside the shelters are kept at 22C.

Reagan, 27, a catering industry worker from the Philippines, said: "I feel better that the RTA have a project of this air-conditioned bus shelters. I go to work and I feel not too tired because before when there was no air-conditioning I would not feel good when I went to work. I used to sweat and now I'm very happy that they have a project like this."

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Your comments

Heartiest congratulations to the RTA for introducing air-conditioned bus shelters to ensure comfort for the bus passengers.
Posted: June 03, 2008, 13:56

The bus shelter is so unique, but why have a nice shelter when you have the worst bus service? I find it mismatched.
Posted: June 03, 2008, 12:28

If possible, it would be nice to have two sections for males and females.
Posted: June 03, 2008, 12:16

I think it is a great thing done by the Government. When I first came to UAE 2 years ago, I was surprised not to see this kind of shelters, and almost fainted one day waiting for a taxi. Now, these shelters come as a solution.The metro is the next big step! Way to go Dubai!
Posted: June 03, 2008, 11:44

I feel bus shelters are of great importance to the people who travel daily by bus. Instead of standing out in the sun it gives them a relaxed mind. But the thing is, they are made very small for so many people to adjust.
Posted: June 03, 2008, 11:42

Lengths and widths of the RTA's bus shelters should have been designed as per the number of expected passengers. Any single bus bay should have a minimum width of 3m, or preferably 3.5m, with one or more shelters to meet the expected travel demand. For busy/multi bus stops minimum width should be 6m and preferably 7m with two or more shelters. RTA should review the shelter and bus bay designs.
Posted: June 03, 2008, 11:17

We expats should thank the Dubai Govt for the A/C Bus Shelters which we cannot even imagine in our own country (India).It would be appreciable if they were of larger area .ie. more spacious.I am not complaining just a suggestion.
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: June 03, 2008, 11:07

This is truly a welcome step for Dubai. Hats off to Shaikh Mohammad and his team for making Dubai truly the city of the 21st Century.
Posted: June 03, 2008, 11:03

Bus shelters are too small to accommodate all the commuters. The RTA should have built big shelters in the crowded bus stops. Whatever, it's a great effort from the RTA.
Posted: June 03, 2008, 10:44

An excellent initiative. Maybe they need to introduce a push button system inside the terminal and a screen outside the terminal that would signal the buses to stop, it would be much more convenient for all.
Posted: June 03, 2008, 09:42

Besides sand, Dubai has an abundance of sunshine, as evidenced by the need to provide air conditioned bus shelters. The question should be, why are these not solar powered? The UAE is suffering from an acute power shortage and yet is not utilising the sun which it has all year round.
Posted: June 03, 2008, 08:55

It is a great initiative by the RTA. However, the fact is that there are a lot of shelters which are closed with the sign "work in progress". The major issue of concern is that these shelters are replaced by the old ones and since these are now closed, the commuters have to stand in the hot sun with the temperature rising everyday. If the opening of fully functional shelters takes time it would be better to open it without air condition so that the commuters will at least have some shade to be happy about.
Posted: June 03, 2008, 08:22

The RTA should also look into buses that have defective air-conditioning or drivers who don't like air-conditioned bus, especially in the summer. It is common here in the Al Qusais area. It is not correct if you are in an "air-conditioned bus shelter" only to find out that when you get into the bus, it is without cool air-conditioning.
Posted: June 03, 2008, 08:20