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Fleet of public buses in Sharjah. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: Sharjah Roads and Transport Authority (SRTA) has transported up to 27,233,000 passengers in 2020 and received 265,919 phone calls, according to a senior official. The department had also recorded 11,389 reservations via its smart applications across the emirate.

The authority’s fleet operating at Sharjah International Airport transported 225,000 passengers through 150,000 trips. The total number of completed trips for the fleet of taxis operating under the Emtyz system (privilege system) reached 14,356,000 trips.

SRTA continues its relentless efforts to upgrade all its services in various sectors, based on the directives of the Sharjah government, in a way that meets the requirements of its customers and keeps pace with the massive urban boom that the emirate is witnessing.

Maximum possible comfort

Yousef Saleh Al Suwaiji, the Chairman of SRTA, said that the authority’s services and facilities are in accordance with the highest international specifications and global best practises — especially in transporting passengers, dealing with violations, responding to public inquiries and providing them with maximum possible comfort.

Al Suwaiji pointed out that the authority was committed to implementing the plans and directions of the Sharjah government in the roads and transport sectors and towards achieving the highest levels of satisfaction among customers through its continuous modernisation and development processes. He said all these measures and objectives were in line with the directives of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and in keeping with the follow-up measures of Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah.

Success of SRTA

Al Suwaidi further said that the transporting of more than 27 million passengers all across Sharjah bears testimony to the successes of SRTA, especially in light of the tremendous developments witnessed in this sector recently.

Abdulaziz Al Jarwan, Director of the Authority for Transportation Affairs, stated that the fleet of taxis operating in the emirate, including Sharjah Taxi, Emirates, Union Taxi and City Taxi, transported 21,534,000 passengers in the past year through 14,356,000 trips, while the total number of users of the public transport network consisting of 12 routes within the city of Sharjah reached 3,405,480 passengers, with the total number of completed trips reaching 338,358. He also announced the launch of 110 new public buses, equipped with latest technologies.

Abdulaziz Al Jarwan

Al Jarwan explained that during that same period, SRTA’s call centre handled more than 265,919 calls from customers — including 145,322 calls to reserve a public vehicle and 7,371 calls to reserve vehicles for people with special needs. The total number of reservations through SRTA’s smart applications reached 11,389.

Regarding customer inquiries, Al Jarwan said that 34,819 inquiries were received, in addition to the issuance of 14,092 permits of various types and the completion of 1,320 transactions related to violations of traffic rules.

Inspection campaigns

Regarding illegal operation of vehicles, Al Jarwan indicated that the violations department in the transportation activities control department succeeded during the past year through operations and patrols carried out by 20 officers. Seizures were carried out as authorised by the Ministry of Justice. Also, a total of 11 inspection campaigns were carried out at various places across the emirate, which included workers’ accommodation sites and crowded market places in areas such as Rolla, Jubail, Saja and the souk area in Dhaid, in addition to other industrial areas throughout the emirate. A total of 1,520 violations were registered. Fines up to Dh5,000 were imposed on the violators, while penalties on repeat offenders reached a maximum of Dh10,000 for each instance.

With regard to inter-city transport, Al Jarwan revealed that the authority succeeded in transporting 2,256,000 passengers in 2020, through 164,130,000 trips through 12 public transport routes throughout Sharjah, adding that the authorities sterilised all stations and buses daily in order to ensure the safety of all passengers in times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He pointed out that the Service Quality Control Department issued 5,220 violations through 20 field observers working.

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All public transport stations and buses across Sharjah are being sterilised regularly in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, SRTA said. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News Archives

Strict action against violators

SRTA implemented the issuance of permits for school transport services, based on a decision by His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, for the year 2019, on regulation of school transport service in the emirate, as well as the decision of the Executive Council for the year 2020 regarding school transport fees and fines. Since the beginning of the 2020-2021 academic session, 247 notices were issued, resulting in a total of 150 cases, and 97 violations were registered owing to noncompliance with the procedures and instructions as stipulated by SRTA for school transportation services in the emirate.

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Al Jarwan said that the Sharjah International Airport Visitors Service Office, which is part of the SRTA headquarters, witnessed a remarkable surge in demand over the past year, with a total number of customers reaching 225,000 across 150,000 trips.

In terms of marine transport, Al Jarwan said the total number of users of the ferry service between Sharjah and Dubai during January, February and March last year reached 37,446.