Dubai: Bus services and fleets are increasing across the UAE, in an attempt to ease traffic and road congestion.

Double-decker buses have been introduced between Dubai and Sharjah - a month ahead of schedule, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has said.

The new service will link Al Ghubaiba Station in Bur Dubai with Al Jubail Station in Sharjah.

"We have launched this service, ahead of the scheduled date which was set as next September, and we will continue to beef up our double decker bus fleet between Dubai and Sharjah such that we will have around 70 buses over the coming months, including 15 buses pencilled in for operation on this route this September.

"This demonstrates the huge attention paid by the RTA to the Dubai-Sharjah route, which attracts considerable numbers of commuters shuttling between the two emirates for their work or residence," said Abdul Aziz Malek, CEO of the Dubai Taxi Agency and Acting CEO of the Public Transport Agency.

The RTA currently has a fleet of 200 buses running between Dubai and Sharjah. Last year, the RTA put out a tender for the purchase of 620 buses, including 170 double-decker buses, which are expected to be delivered by March 2009.

It had earlier said it would purchase 1,616 modern buses to expand its existing fleet of 600 by the end of next year.

In January, the RTA announced that four new bus routes utilising 104 buses would be launched in Dubai.

New routes

The new routes are: route number C0 running between Deira City Centre and Dubai Zoo; bus number X23 operating between Academic City and Al Nahda; bus number X35 running between Al Warqaa and the Green Community; and number 53 operating between International City and the Mall of the Emirates.

Abu Dhabi has also been introducing new bus routes, including a free service until the end of 2008. Eventually, 258 buses (125 new and 133 refurbished) will be deployed, also by the end of this year.

Twelve bus stations will be renovated and 25 new stations will be introduced in Abu Dhabi.

Sharjah introduced a bus service, number 14, in mid-July that is currently operating as a test run. The service will be expanded to include 18 routes with 120 operational buses.

The new double-decker buses are fitted with Euro 4 engines, which meet environmental specifications.

The RTA also confirmed that the trial of hybrid taxi engines is continuing.

"The RTA is proceeding ahead with the pilot operation of 10 hybrid environment-friendly vehicles, Chevrolet Tahoe and Malibus; which were recently inaugurated in association with the General Motors Co.

"These vehicles use twin engines [electricity and fuel operated engines] and an experimental operation is in hand according to plan, and the initial results are encouraging.

"The gist of this initiative revolves around implementation of the currently available modern technology to curb pollution from vehicle exhausts. It seeks to improve the quality of fuel used in public buses, and apply the global standards governing gas emissions to vehicles in Dubai," Malek said.

Malek also confirmed that the RTA is considering "a sweeping renovation of mass transit systems in the emirate, to make them more environmentally-friendly."

Existing abra engines are also due to be replaced with gas (CNG) operated engines.

High-tech new features

  • Statistical system to count bus commuters.
  • GPS link with RTA control centre.
  • Internal and external high-definition electronic display monitors.
  • Wheelchair accessibility measures.

Have your say
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