Minibus in the UAE
Picture for illustrative purposes - minibus on a Dubai road Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai has rectified an earlier order to suspend minibuses from operating on Dubai roads, clarifying that they will be allowed to operate but only with a reduced number of passengers as a precautionary measure against the spread of coronavirus.

A new circular issued by RTA on April 1 to transport and bus rental companies forbids them from using the minibuses at full capacity.

“As part of Dubai government directions to follow precautionary measures amid COVID-19, we want to thank you for your efforts and continued cooperation in following the instructions issued by the Roads and Transport Authority. We want to bring to your attention that there is no ban on using minibuses to transport passengers, but it is prohibited to use the minibus with full capacity as it is important to keep a safe distance inside the bus,” read the latest RTA circular.

The earlier circular on suspension of minibuses was issued by RTA on March 26.

The old circular said: “To ensure safety of everyone and as precautionary measure of COVID-19, we direct you to suspend the work of minibuses transporting passengers in general until further notice.”

When Gulf News contacted RTA to clarify the old circular, the authority said: “As part of health and safety precautionary measures as prescribed by the relevant authorities for the safety of commuters and to prevent the spread of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) the RTA has currently implemented many recommended measures onboard Public Transportation and on transport services by private transport and tourism companies. All these measures are to ensure physical distancing among public.”