Dubai: Metro, bus and water bus rides will be free for all commuters holding Nol cards till midnight on Friday as the Roads and Transport Authority marks its fourth Public Transport Day.

Apart from unlimited free rides, people can also enjoy a host of activities including a marathon, a used book expo, Dubai Tram Show, Marine Parade, a free health checkup as well as a blood donation camp. The events will be held across various metro stations and bus stations in Dubai, but the epicentre of the activities will be Burj Plaza.

Free medical checkups will be conducted at the Dubai Healthcare City and Airport Terminal 3 stations, and the blood donation campaign will be held at Al Ghubaiba Bus Station.

Burj Plaza will host events like a used book exhibition and RTA projects as well as the public transport marathon involving teams of two to five members travelling on various public transport modes and solving clues on the way.

“We have planned activities that reflect the true benefits of using public transport on a daily basis. Public transport has health and social benefits that is [why we are] hosting related activities. We are also hosting a book expo to promote reading while riding on the metro and buses,” said Yousuf Al Ali, CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency.

Cash Prizes ranging from Dh5,000 to Dh10,000 will be up for grabs for marathon winners, while gold and silver Nol cards and other gifts will be on offer during other activities.

Marking the Public Transport Day, RTA is also adding two marine routes to the existing network of water bus and Dubai Ferry.

“RTA will open two new lines for the Water Bus at the Dubai Creek and the Dubai Marina. The first line will offer a service at 7am starting from Al Seef Station and heading towards Bani Yas Station and the Dubai Old Souk in round trips every 15 minutes. The second line at the Dubai Marina will be expanded to link four stations namely; the Marina Terrace, Marina Walk, Marina Mall and the Marina Promenade in both directions with a headway of 15 minutes,” said Hussain Khansaheb, Acting Director of Marine Transport at RTA’s Public Transport Agency.

RTA has revamped existing routes of Dubai Ferry starting from Dubai Marina and the Dubai Creek.

On the first route from Dubai Creek, the ferry will move from Al Ghubaiba Station to the Dubai Marina starting at 11am. On route two, the trip will start at 10.30am from Al Ghubaiba Station heading in the direction of the Floating Bridge and continue up to the Hyatt Regency Hotel and back to Al Ghubaiba Station in a one-hour journey. Passengers will be served coffee and tea on both journeys.

At the Dubai Marina, the morning journey of the Dubai Ferry will start at 11am in the direction of Al Ghubaiba Station, and an internal journey will start at 3pm and last for one hour.

At 4pm, a journey will start from the Marina featuring a more tourist-oriented cruise to pass by Burj Al Arab and Atlanta Hotels.