The new bus route map installed at a bus station in Jumeirah. Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News

Dubai: The process of tracking destinations and planning bus journeys has been made easy following the launch of new-look bus routes and maps at all bus stops across Dubai.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has started displaying improved and easy-to-read bus routes, network maps and timetables at bus stops and the main bus stations.

"Now... commuters will find it easier to read the timetables, review the network and check the route maps with ease," said Eisa Abdul Rahman Al Dossary, chief executive officer of the RTA's Public Transport Agency (PTA).

Al Dossary said the colour-coded maps were part of the PTA's efforts to improve the quality of bus services. Every single route will be colour-coded.

The maps will display all public bus routes together with major landmarks falling within 500 metres of a bus stop on every route.

"Through these maps, the user can establish his or her whereabouts, and identify the routes serving a destination," Al Dossary said.

This map is divided into three main sections. The first one shows all bus routes in Dubai, the second shows all buses passing through that particular bus stop and the third describes key geographical locations, in the shape of 3D images, near the commuter's destination.

Best practice

"This step has been taken following field studies and surveys and [a] review of the best global practices in this field," Al Dossary said.

The bus route map includes starting and arrival points, intervals between services (headway), the starting time of the first or last service, and the locations of bus stops situated on the route

"So far, we have installed the new maps at 300 bus stops in different areas, including Jumeirah, Al Sufouh, Al Safa and Al Quoz and the rest of the bus stops will be covered in coming months," he said.

He noted that the use of public transport had risen over the last few years, especially after the introduction of an integrated public transport system. "We are glad to reveal that public transport use has recorded phenomenal growth, from the 6 per cent [witnessed] in early 2009 to 12 per cent this year, and this is a big achievement as we aim to achieve a 30 per cent target by 2020," Al Dossary said.

He added the introduction of many services such as modern buses, feeder bus routes linking the Metro and buses, the journey planner, and air-conditioned bus stops had given public transport in Dubai a major boost.

Healthy numbers

According to RTA statistics, more than 332 million passengers used public transport — which includes the Dubai Metro, public buses, taxis and water buses — in 2010, compared to 288.7 million passengers in 2009.

The average number of daily riders in 2010 was about 957,000 people compared to 800,000 in 2009.