NAT_220405 Bus Cards1-1649223478496
A bus drives past the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Commuters in Abu Dhabi’s public buses can now top up their Hafilat fare payment cards online.

The emirate’s public transport regulator, the Department of Municipality and Transport’s Integrated Transport Centre (ITC), announced the new top-up option through its social media platforms on Tuesday.

“In line with efforts to enhance customer experiences, [ITC] now facilitates the topping up of Hafilat cards online via e-services on the ITC or Darbi websites,” the authority said.

The ITC website contains information about Abu Dhabi public transport whereas the Darbi website focuses on public bus services.

How to top up

In order to top up the Hafilat cards, commuters need to enter the serial number on the bottom of the card, then select the top-up amount, and pay the amount using a credit or debit card.

Prior to the new top-up option, commuters have had to recharge their cards at ticket vending machines across the emirate, or have had to use recharging stations on intercity buses.

Growing demand

Public bus use has been growing in the emirate over the years. The ITC announced that the number of passenger trips grew by 27 per cent in 2021 to total 55.3 million passenger trips. The ITC itself added 49 new buses to its fleet, with 818 public buses now serving commuters in the emirate. It also resumed intercity operations between Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Liwa and Al Ruwaise, which had been suspended in 2020 during the COVID-19 outbreak.

New services

The authority also introduced its bus-on-demand shuttle service on Yas Island, after a successful pilot in Al Shahama area. The service recorded 237,000 passenger trips last year.

In contrast, there were 36 million passenger trips on public taxis, which offer the other main public transport option Abu Dhabi.