Dubai: Public bus occupancy in Dubai in the first four months of this year has gone up to 42.6 per cent compared with 39.3 per cent in the same period last year, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced.

According to RTA, the occupancy rate has gone up by 8.5 per cent from last year.

Dr Yousuf Mohammad Al Ali, CEO of the Public Transport Agency at RTA, said: “Among the key factors triggering the rise in the bus seat occupancy in Dubai is the obvious improvement in the accuracy of bus schedules as on-time arrivals encourage additional numbers of the public to use public buses in travelling to various destinations across the emirate.”

He added that Dubai ranked third across the world, after Germany and France, in the public bus occupancy rate.

“We reviewed the best international practices adopted in this regard, benchmarking with a host of cities in several advanced countries such as Germany, France, Finland, Sweden, Britain and the USA. This news undoubtedly constitutes a massive achievement for the emirate, considering the record time in which it was made compared with a long history of cities in Europe, US, and Japan in the field of public transport,” he noted.

Among the steps adopted by RTA to improve the bus services he said: “We continuously monitor performance of public bus routes to identify the low occupancy routes. We have also developed appropriate corrective measures for each route to be implemented in the final quarter of 2014, studying new demand areas, and analysing the possibility of increasing bus seats on high-demand routes to keep pace with the volume of demand.”

He added that public bus route operation is measured in terms of seat occupancy; which contributes to the optimal distribution of network assets in physical and financial terms as the percentage of bus occupancy is measured by dividing the number of passenger-kilometre by the operational capacity-kilometre.

Al Ali urged commuters to use Wojhati to plan their journey.

Wojhati is journey planner which can be accessed through the RTA website as well as through smartphone platforms. The service is also available though LCD touchscreens at bus stations.

RTA currently operates 107 bus routes that include local routes, feeder routes, Central Business District as well as Intercity and express routes. Bus route C01 that runs between Dubai Airport Terminal 3 and Al Satwa bus station stands out as the busiest among all routes, transporting 580,000 passengers last month.