Dubai: ‘Park and Ride' service for Metro commuters has been made even easier as motorists can use Nol Cards in Dubai's paid parking zones.
"Yes, the pre-paid Nol card can be used to pay parking fees in all the paid parking zones in Dubai," said Abdullah Al Madani, Chief Executive Officer of Corporate Technical Support Services.
Using a Nol card is simple. Just insert the card in the slot in the parking machine, which will read the card for the available balance. Then press the button to purchase the ticket.
Al Madani said it would be a great convenience for motorists who want to park their cars and use public transport, including the Metro, buses and water transport.
"Now commuters can use only one card to use the public transport and also pay parking fee," he added.
He said Nol cards would be upgraded to use for multiple services in future.
Parking for Metro users is free only at dedicated areas at Al Rashidiya and Nakheel Harbour and Tower Stations.
Commuters have welcomed the new move and said it would make their lives easier as they will not have to buy different cards or find coins to pay parking fees.
"It is a great move and should have been publicised to make the people aware about this service," said Ashley, a Filipina.
Many motorists, especially those using the Metro, are already using Nol cards to pay parking fees. But the majority of motorists still do not know about the service. "I came to know from one of my friends that the Metro travel cards can be used to pay parking fee. I tried and it did work," said Faisal Shaikh, an Indian salesman.
It may be mentioned here that minimum parking fee in Dubai has already been increased to Dh2 per hour since last month. The step was taken to standarise the fee as earlier parking fee in some areas was only Dh1 per hour.
There are now various options to pay for parking. In addition to using coins, a motorist can also use various types of pre-paid cards and seasonal cards. They can also pay by using the mParking service, which enables motorists to pay using their mobile phones.
One type of parking card is for a shorter periods and is available in denominations of Dh30, Dh50 and Dh100. They can be used at parking meters to get parking tickets.
Seasonal cards are available for three, six and 12 months ranging from Dh450 to Dh2,500. These cards are fixed to the windscreen. They can be used to park round-the-clock.
Cards of Category A can be used to park anywhere in Dubai and costs Dh700 for three months, Dh1,300 for six months and Dh2,500 for one year.
Cards of Category B can be used only in large parking areas and cost Dh450, Dh800 and Dh1,500 respectively.
The paid parking system in Dubai started in the Central Business District (CBD) of Deira in 1995 with the installation of 40 parking meters. It has been continually extended in phases to areas outside the CBD as the city grew in terms of population, buildings and vehicles.
Dubai currently has more than 80,000 paid parking areas.
What do you think of this scheme? Will you make use of it? What else can be done to make the payment process easier?