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Check Nol card credit before starting journey

Commuters using the public transport, including the Dubai Metro, should ensure they have enough credit in their Nol cards before starting their journey.

Image Credit:Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
Many commuters have complained that vending machines for tickets do not work so they find it difficult to top up their Nol cards.
Gulf News

Dubai: Commuters using the public transport, including the Dubai Metro, should ensure they have enough credit in their Nol cards before starting their journey.

"We call upon the commuters to check the balance in their Nol cards to ensure that they have enough credit to complete their journey in multiple travel zones to avoid delays, especially during peak hours," said Peyman Younes Parham, a spokesperson of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

He advised commuters to plan their journey in advance and check the links between the different modes of transport including the Metro and the public buses to benefit from the integrated transport system.

Many public transport commuters, especially those using only the buses, have been facing problems recharging their Nol cards. They also complain of 'over-charging' of fares due to the malfunctioning of Nol card reading machines in the buses.

"I ended up paying Dh5.80 for a journey which should have cost me Dh2.30 because the card reading machine at the exit of the bus did not read my card to complete the 'check out' process," said a commuter.

A passenger must 'check in' by tagging his Nol card on the card reading machine at the entry of the bus or the gates at the Metro station and he must 'check out' at the exit gate of the bus or at the Metro station to complete his journey. Maximum fare is charged if he fails to 'check out'.

Another commuter wrote to Gulf News that many ticket vending machines near bus stops and bus stations do not work and many passengers could not top up their Nol cards.

"The driver of the bus refused me a ride, asking me to buy a new card," he added.

"We have received complaints from many passengers that they were being charged extra," said an RTA official. He explained that passengers should know that the old fare system has been replaced with the Unified Automated Fare Collection system and Nol cards have been introduced.

"Now the fare is collected based on the zoning system as Dubai has been divided into five zones and the old fixed bus fare of Dh2 is no longer valid," he added.

Fares for all public transport modes including the Metro and the buses are the same.

The fare ranges from a minimum Dh1.80 to a maximum Dh6.50 for a single journey depending on the zones involved.

The fare is calculated based on the distance covered irrespective of whether a passenger travels by train, bus or both to complete a single journey.

Meanwhile, the RTA statistics revealed that 42,782 passengers used the Metro on Monday, pushing up the total number of passengers served by the Metro to 279,782 in five days.Do you know about the different zones when riding Dubai Metro? Have you faced any difficulties when using Nol cards? How has your experience been on the Metro?

Your comments

After reading all the comments I fail to understand how the charge for the Metro and the bus can be the same when the time element is different. If I travel to Oud Metha from Al Quasis by bus I normally would pay Dh.2/ Now with the new NOL cards it seems that it will be more. Different modes of transport are charged differently how can the Metro and the bus fare be the same? It is really very confusing.
Posted: September 16, 2009, 17:15

With all of these problems with the new fare system, I hope the RTA should return the old system which is 2 dirhams per trip until they are sure that the new system will work perfectly.
Posted: September 16, 2009, 12:33

Rauf Ahmad
Posted: September 16, 2009, 12:29

it's really hard nowadays using the new nol card as there are very few areas wherein we can re-charge the card. It should be installed in common areas wherein it is accesible to everybody.
Floriza G. Tuazon
Posted: September 16, 2009, 12:26

I have been calling RTA Control Room at 8009090 more than five times last one week. Only some of the new buses the Tag machine is working. Most of the old bus Tag machines are not working at the time of exit. Next day when I check almost 4 + 2.30 get deducted. The drivers are laughing when we exit out from the front gate especially when the card is not working in the exit gate. Most of the times Control Tower used to say RTA officials are working on it. When they will finish and rectify this problem. It is a pity that most of the Vending machines in Karama is out of order. People put to so much hardship like above. The Control Tower says go to Burjuman Station and Tag the card within 90 minutes. NOL card must tried for a month physically and then it must be implemented. It is our destiny to loose every day 4+2.30. What to do?
Posted: September 16, 2009, 12:25

The Topic for this artical is to " Top up the card before your Journey "Yes we know that, but if the Nol Vending Machine are not working and the only mean is to buy another card or wait in long line in selected Bus station then what. RTA should check there own system before they talk.
Posted: September 16, 2009, 12:21

first day when i used the nOL card its dedut 12 dhs, i catch the bus from burdubai and getdown Karama, in that distance i pay 12 dhs. I put the complain in RTA, my complain no is 048173 but there is no action taken by RTA. most of the people dont have faith with RTA fare rule
Manojeet Chanda
Posted: September 16, 2009, 12:08

I had two trips in bus using NOL card, both occasion it charged me Dh.5.80 instead of 2.30 because the exit card reading machine fails to read the card and the bus driver told me to call the RTA and complain. When I called the RTA they taken my telephone number and nol card number and told me they will call back. now three days passed nobody called back.
Posted: September 16, 2009, 11:45

First of all the Bus drivers dont have the NOL card it means we have to walk in the hot sun to many bus stops and first locate the machine to buy it as well to re-charge it instead of going to our office, such problems will only kill the people's motive to use the Public Transport and will prefer to use Cars, lets us wait for 1 month
Posted: September 16, 2009, 11:39

This is very bad system of nol card when we r using in bus it is ok for metro
Posted: September 16, 2009, 11:32

We were very happy to start the Metro in Dubai.But since the metro start, many public bus users complaining about the high bus fare, difficult in top up the card and faulty machines. Whats more, we have to spend AED. 20.00 in advance for a single journey!
Abdul Jaleel Pallipparamba
Posted: September 16, 2009, 11:31

I am not happy with the new bus fare. From Ministry of Health to Ras Al Khor I only pay for EAD 2.00 but now with the new implemented fare scheme it was doubled my fare and it really give me a headache, plus the inconvenience for recharging the Ticket. Sometimes the machines from the bus itself were you can tap your card, its not working either, what is this? Because when youre not being able to Check out they automatically deduct certain amount to your Card. Calling all concern people may be do some action regarding this matter
Posted: September 16, 2009, 11:17

I am a regular user of Dubai transport buses from Deira to Bur Dubai. After the introduction of nol I am also faced problems with the machines inside the buses. While entering nol card accepting properly "shows you are successfully checked in" but at the time of exit the machine will not work, even not showing anything which create loss of money from us. Before the introduction of Nol cards the monthly pass cost 90 dirhams for travellin in the same place now required more than 300 dirhams per month. This is not only my case all regular bus passenger's facing the same problem. Respective management should solve this matter which is highly important. For your information companies not providing transportation cost and this is an additional expenditure now.
Posted: September 16, 2009, 10:51

For bus commuters especially, there should be other ways of re-charging the NOL the way how we buy credit for our spend more time going to recharge my NOL card compared the time i travel to my work. Or every bus must always be ready to provide re-load or recharge of credit, if not then better to have a NEW one
Posted: September 16, 2009, 10:48

The RTA doesnt have any Gold card. This is very frustrating.
Michael Timms
South Carolina,USA
Posted: September 16, 2009, 10:46

Dear all I will not commment anything regarding Metro because it is non of my use as it is away from my accomodation and office.But I fill to have a comment on NOL card by which all the public living in between Area of main Bus stop how they will purchase the new card.As there is no availibility for card in buses.I hope that you all will get to my point
Mohammad Gaus
Posted: September 16, 2009, 10:33

The Nol cards is not useful for all commuters. Single journey is overcharged. They can't help for all commuters especially if the salary is not raised up. The RTA should have advertising before launching "NOL cards" as every commuter is facing difficulties sometimes the recharge machine is not working on each bus stop. This kind of operation is not suitable for all commuters.
Posted: September 16, 2009, 10:33

I travelled from Al Quoz Industrial 3 to Naif last Sept 13, in bus due to Metro Station in MOE is closing already and I can't reach their by that time. I still have a 16.80AED balance in my NOL card by then when I entered the bus and I got down in Naif bus stop I was shocked to see that I don't have anymore balance available in my card and the vending machine near my house is not working due to some people don't know yet how to use the machine. I can say that everyday since the NOL card is launched it is always on box office line up. I also experience that my card was not top when I go down the bus in the Burjuman area I went immediately to the Metro Station to check with the attendant their but they answered me that they don't know the answer. So poor me, the least thing I can do is to recharge again my card and buy and extra card.
Posted: September 16, 2009, 10:26

I purchased nol card and checked in the bus, while checking out the machine was not working. This matter checked with the driver, the driver did not give any answer. Some of the drivers are shouting and rudly talking, we need polite behaviour from the drivers, RTA should give instruction to the drivers.
Posted: September 16, 2009, 10:26

i used the metro twice and it was just wonderful. the only major problem is that in most stations there are not enough card reading exits or entries (only 2 in mall of emirates) causing very long ques. this will only get worse later if not corrected
Posted: September 16, 2009, 10:20

Nol cards are not working properly. Many times I am overcharged because I cant check out (card doesnt read). Recharging nol card is a big headache. Because most of the times Ticket machines are not working. totally Nol card is a failure
Abdul Kareem
Posted: September 16, 2009, 10:18

each and everyday i am traveling from jebel ali gardens 5 to dubai media city. each and everyday by taging the nol card the fare used to be 2.30 dhs. but suddenly yesterday i dont know why for the same distance the fare has been deducted 4.10 dhs? if rta is having some problem with their automated fare deduction software, they should solve it out as soon as possible.
Md Tanzid Ahmad
Posted: September 16, 2009, 10:14

Even i faced the diffculty in using NOL card as i was not aware about the new system Drivers should guide the Commuters of the bus to swipe the cards while checking out as most of them are not aware about the new system, the fare should be rounded off at Dhs 2 as it was earlier as it would ease out the life of all
Posted: September 16, 2009, 10:12

I think Mr. Parham is not consistent with his answer being given to media. In this article he acknowledged that there are problem with new fare system and nol cards and yet in other newspaper he says RTA do not received any complaint. Wherein I myself always make a call to RTA hotline to air a complaint.
Jhun Cruz
Posted: September 16, 2009, 10:08

This is one of the few flaws of Dubai Metro as far as the passengers are concerned. I am traveling from Al Barsha (Mall of the Emirates MS) to Garhoud. I took F30 feeder bus to reach MOE Metro Station during morning time but sad to say the journey is no longer convenient due to the distance we have to walk from the time we get down from the feeder buses and as well as catching the feeders during morning time. The feeders are unpredictable! As to the fare, its totally confusing!!! For the few days I'm taking the Metro plus feeder and regular buses to reach my office the balance is not up-to-date even if I ensure that I took the allotted 30 minutes and allowed number of 'transfers' from feeder buses to metro to regular buses and vice versa. This morning, we need to get inside the MOE to take the bridge going to the metro station than taking the stairs near the feeder terminal. We understand that the doors and stairs there are for 'emergency exit' only but they should be considerate to the passengers taking the metro. It caused extra delays and efforts for us because it is quite far. I hope RTA should do something about this matter and as well the MOE Metro Station and the management as well..We will be always delighted to patronize the services offered by RTA.
Anwar Malon
Posted: September 16, 2009, 09:58

I just purchased a Nol card few days ago and was surprised that I was being charged 6 dhs instead of the usual 1.80 for the last few days until I checked with the driver what the fare was using the Nol card. Bus commuters are used to the fact that a maximum of 2 is deducted from the e-bus card. I would expect bus stations to educate those who purchase new Nol cards so that they are aware of the rules. It was my impression that the check in and check out applied only to the Metro.
I Philip
Posted: September 16, 2009, 09:53

I travel by bus on 14th sep from makthoum road to dnata by bus no x35. when i entered the bus i check in sucessful but i at the time of check out the fare calculating machine not working, bus driver said call the call centre and tell them they will detuct the fare. Next time when i traveled i seen Dh 5.8 detucted instead of Dh 1.8. for last travel.
Nizam Al Deen
Posted: September 16, 2009, 09:51

I'm a regular passenger of RTA Bus and in Metro since 12.09.2009. While using the Metro, I never experienced any difficulties in Check In and Check Out. But, while travelling in Buses, several time I've been overcharged upto the max. fare of Dhs.5.80. I had complained to RTA, but till date no response.
Jes Thomas
Posted: September 16, 2009, 09:44

I agreed with your new fare index. But what solution can the authorities provide for which the passenger is phasing while check out or exit from any mode of transport.
Santosh Raghunathan
Posted: September 16, 2009, 09:41

Dubai Metro is a gra8 service,really i like it. But the problems is coming in Dubai buses when you chekout ur card.
Shahab Allah
Posted: September 16, 2009, 09:29

RTA should allow bus drivers to distribute NOL cards. Hope we can recharge NOL card using website soon.
Posted: September 16, 2009, 09:29

Yes, the machine charged me Dh5.80 because it did not register my punch out. Also, only a few machines are available for re-charging and most of them are malfunctioning. For me, the old card was much better. I hope you can do immediate action on this matter because lots of commuters are facing difficulties.
Posted: September 16, 2009, 09:21

On September 15, I traveled from Jaffliya station and got off at Terminal 3. Then I boarded feeder bus No. F06 and I swiped my card and it was working fine. But when I got off board around 3:29pm to the Nearest point to my House the card did not work at all on any exit point on the Feeder Bus.
Posted: September 16, 2009, 09:09

You should see to it that if your vending top up machines everywhere are not working then every bus driver should have a nol card for sale for the convinience of the travellers
Posted: September 16, 2009, 09:05

This new bus card is giving a headache to passengers like me. I'm living in International City and the bus stop from where i ride (Intr'nl City and down(bur Dubai) doesn't have a machine to reload my card, so i went to the burjuman station, but the machine was not working, I went to Satwa near RYDGES hotel not working, SAtwa bus station Also NOT working. What is this? its really giving us a hard time. They should give this some consideration.
Maria Graves
Posted: September 16, 2009, 09:03

Yes I have been charged the max amount for a short trip.Yesterday The Ticket vending machine in Satwa Main Bus stop didn't work. It usually doesn't work anyway. The Bus driver didnt have a new card with them. I stood for 1 hour just to top-up my card from the bus depo office.
Posted: September 16, 2009, 08:58

NOL Cards is really a headache with us especially if we are going to check out from the bus because the machine sometimes can not read and when I ask the driver what I will do. He said that he can not do anything. The RTA staff should be responsible for all this problem and not the passenger who is using the NOL cards properly. RTA should expect that in a new systems like this, they will encounter some problems. There should be an inspector inside the bus so that we will not loose too much money. I hope that RTA will do something about this matter especially in riding a bus.
Posted: September 16, 2009, 08:53

I buy NOL Card Dh20/- then before i came 2/- Fixed Charges. Now RTA Bus Charging 4.50/- From Muhsinah to Qusais. Now I Have 2 NOL Card.
Posted: September 16, 2009, 08:46

I purchased a nol silver card from the bus (for Dh20)and I travelled only 3 times, now the balace is showing to be only Dh2.40. I am still confused about the new charges.
Posted: September 16, 2009, 08:44

RTA should be a little more clear on the new system beacause a lot of people are still confused about how the money is going to be deducted, may be they can advertise it or publish the article in the newspaper
Posted: September 16, 2009, 08:26

There is no problem so far with regards to the Zones, NOL Cards and the using the Metro. I find it very convenient. I just caught up one time in the Metro (30 minutes late). As a customer, we need also to read further some instructions before we use a certain transportation or anything, we have to understand their terms and conditions. As I see, there are lots of confusion when you buy a Silver NOL card for Dh20 and upon purchasing them there will be a automatic charge of Dh6. So, when they use the card its less Dh6 and the amount that they have travelled.
Posted: September 16, 2009, 08:18

Saturday morning from Al Rigga I started my first Metro journey by taking a Nol card for Dh50 at the Rigga station. I alighted at the Mall of the Emirates station, where Dh 4.10 were deducted. Then, I walked to my workplace near Industrial Area 3 where no feeder bus route at present is available.In the evening I tried to cross the busy Al Barsha road, I found the No.10 public bus approaching to stop. I boarded the bus and alighted at Deira but was charged Dh4.10. I was unaware of the new bus fares. I know the RTA has divided Dubai in 5 zones. Immediately, I called the RTA toll free and a gentleman nicely explained me about all my doubts. Now, I am fully satisfied about the new system. Nol card should be allow for paid parking, too.
Posted: September 16, 2009, 08:09

I purchased a Nol card and I checked-in when entering the bus, but at the time of checking-out, the machine was not working, and the result is that the maximum fare was deducted. When I complained to the driver, he said: "I am helpless, complain to the RTA". The second and third day this happened again. What do we do.? At least the RTA should replace the old cards or cash paying system till the Nol card problem is clear. This is the best help to the public from RTA. Hoping that you will solve this problem.
Posted: September 16, 2009, 07:49

Sir,The newly implemented bus fare which is very high. I am travelling from Satwa to Al Quoz daily, before it was Dh4 per day now I should pay Dh8.20. It is un affordable for a normal person.
Posted: September 16, 2009, 07:28

It is a kind request, please provide an access / service through the banks to recharge / top up the nol card. If so, the crowd atthe Ticket Office / vending machine will be avoided, especially since as per the new labour regulation, almost all the commuters have their own bank accounts. So, if the RTA is linked with the banks to provide the service to commuters, it would be a great pleasure and time saving process.
V.S. Saravanakumar
Posted: September 16, 2009, 06:41