The fleet of new buses in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Instagram

Dubai: Want to ride the public bus in Abu Dhabi for free? You will just have to recycle some empty plastic water bottles, to do good for the environment and save some money in the process.

‘Points for Plastic Bus Tariff’ is an initiative by Abu Dhabi’s transport authority - Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) – which was launched in March this year to promote sustainability and provide recycling incentives in the Emirate. The initiative is a collaboration between ITC, the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD), the waste sector regulator, and the Abu Dhabi Waste Management Centre - Tadweer.

Here is all you need to know about the initiative.

Where can I deposit the plastic bottles?

According to ITC, the initiative encourages public transport users to obtain free trips on public buses by gaining points each time they hand in empty plastic bottles at a deposit machine installed at Abu Dhabi’s Central Bus Station. The points can then be used to pay for bus fares, as they are added to your personalised Hafilat bus cards.

Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station


How are the points calculated?

According to ITC, this is how the points for a single plastic water bottle are calculated:

  • Every single small bottle (600 ml or less) will gain one point.
  • Larger containers or bottles exceeding 600 ml will gain two points.

Each point equals ten fils. So, to get a deduction of Dh1, for example, you will need to collect 10 points.

How can I use the points for bus rides?

The points that you collect are added to your Hafilat bus card. When you ride a bus, you are required to scan the Hafilat bus card at the entry and exit doors. The ITC automated payment system will first deduct the points you have on your card and then deduct the remainder of the bus fare from your card’s cash balance.

ITC launched the first phase at the Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station in March 2022 and will later expand it to other areas in the Emirate.