The RTA has launched new travel catering service for buses running between Al Ghubaiba and Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News

Dubai: The bus ride between Al Ghubaiba and Abu Dhabi just got yummier as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) recently launched a catering service on board.

The catering service on board a public transport bus, believed to be a world’s first, is a contender for Guinness World Record, claim authorities

A joint venture between Al Shamil Foodstuff Trading and RTA, the service is currently available on one intercity route between Al Ghubaiba in Bur Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Already, very popular with passengers, it is likely to be started on other intercity routes soon.

“We have started the catering service on one Dubai-Abu Dhabi bus route from Al Ghubaiba. We have got fantastic feedback so far as there was a lot of demand for such a service on the non-stop route,” said Eisa Abdul Rahman Al Dossary, CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency.

The service currently offers snacks like chips, muffins, biscuits and juices as well as other beverages at market rate.

Impressed by the service, etisalat has already hired a shuttle bus between Abu Dhabi and Dubai for its employees, which also includes a catering service.

“We already have a lot of demand, we have etisalat using the service for its employees and there are other companies asking for it frequently. Soon we will also start it on other bus routes,” added Al Dossary.

Served through a uniquely engineered trolley, which is due for a patent, the food is approved by Dubai Municipality health and hygiene standards.

“The trolley is equipped with German-braking technology, it is able to balance itself front-back and sideways even if the bus suddenly brakes. ” Al Dossary said..

In addition to snacks and beverages, RTA is working with the company on technology to serve hot food.

“The service is very similar to what is offered on planes; Soon we will also introduce hot food on the intercity buses. These facilities will give the intercity service a truly business class feel. The idea is to make public transport more convenient and attractive for people,” said Al Dossary.

RTA has also introduced a pilot project of WiFi on intercity bus routes as a value added service for its customers.

The service is available on five intercity routes, including two Dubai-Abu Dhabi routes, two Dubai-Fujairah routes and one Dubai-Sharjah route.

“We have introduced the pilot which will run until Decemeber 2012. The WIFI is available for passengers for free. We study the response to service and based on the feedback we will deal with the service,” said Mohammad Abdullah Al Ali, director of Planning and Business Development at PTA.

The intercity routes for Abu Dhabi and Sharjah run every 10 minutes, while the new route from Ibn Batuta Mall to Abu Dhabi runs every one hour.