Dubai: Commuters will have to shell out an additional Dh3 to travel between Dubai and Sharjah on public buses, following a hike announced by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of both Dubai and Sharjah.
The bus fare on all Dubai-Sharjah routes will increase from Dh7 to Dh10 with effect from May 1, confirmed Dr Yousuf Al Ali, CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency.
However, the fares on other intercity routes to Ajman, Fujairah and Abu Dhabi will remain the same.
“We are enhancing the service on Dubai-Sharjah routes and doubling our capacity. There will be more buses, more routes and more stops between the two emirates. The decision was taken jointly by RTA and Sharjah authorities,” said Dr Al Ali, speaking to Gulf News on the last day of the Fourth UITP Mena Congress and Exhibition on Wednesday.
Dr Al Ali added that the frequency of bus trips on most Dubai-Sharjah routes has been increased to 15 minutes and the authority is planning to add more buses between the two emirates.
Currently, more than half of the 106 buses running on 14 intercity routes operate between the two emirates, carrying around 20,000 passengers daily.
Pointing to major improvements to the services, Dr Al Ali said most of the Sharjah routes will be served by double-decker buses.
“We had several standard buses running on Dubai-Sharjah routes and we have changed that. We will now have double-decker buses on all routes except E307 A, which runs between Abu Hail and Sharjah. Soon the entire fleet running on Sharjah routes will be double-decker, almost doubling the capacity,” said Dr Al Ali.
In a major development, RTA is planning to roll out monthly passes on intercity buses soon, which will help regular commuters to offset the hike.
“We are working on a project to issue monthly passes for intercity passengers, which will definitely help regular commuters to save considerably on travel cost. We are also planning loyalty programmes for frequent commuters,” said Mohammad Al Ali, Director of Operations at PTA.
Earlier last year, the authority launched a project to equip all intercity buses with WiFi connectivity, which is being carried out in phases.
RTA operates six routes between Dubai and Sharjah — Al Sabkha, Union, Satwa-Karama, City Centre, Abu Hail and Al Ghubaiba.
The Roads and Transport Authority Sharjah also run routes to Al Quoz as well as Al Ghusais and Rashidiya.