The 18-seater buses will operate on flexible routes and schedules, and bus drivers can know the service demand through the app to reach the nearest point. Image Credit: Courtesy: RTA

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai has launched a trial run of its ‘Bus on Demand’ initiative, starting with Al Warqaa and Al Barsha, which will be free for three months during the trial period.


How to use the service?

RTA partnered with Mvmant, an app that streamlines public transportation based on app-user preferences and provider abilities. The app claims to use artificial intelligence to understand customer demands, and thereby optimise the timings and services provided. 

You can see the buses available on the app and book seats on them based on timings and where you need to get to. You can also pay fares through the app. 


How many buses are available?

For the trial run, RTA has reportedly introduced four 18-seater mini-buses and two standard buses.


Origins and destinations

This is the part where the app comes into play. Based on user demand, it sets origin and stops. The destinations are ideally the nearest point towards customer's final destination, which could be a Dubai Metro station, another public bus stop or other area. The buses will only function within the said areas of Al Barsha and Al Warqaa for the trial period. 

Try the app: Android and iOS


Timings

This fleet runs independent of usual bus schedules in the area, filling in time and distance gaps in user demand. The customers can track bus timings on the app and find where the nearest stop is based on their location. 

The concept of buses on demand was introduced late last year with a trial run planned for 2018.