Commuters disembark from an RTA bus at Al Satwa. Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News Archive

Dubai: Passengers can now use free WiFi access on intercity buses of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

The RTA’s Public Transport Agency has launched the service on 106 buses to Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.

Abdullah Yousuf Al Ali, CEO of the agency, said: “The service enables intercity bus riders to surf the internet through their portable devices, tablets or smartphones and process several tasks in transit, a time-saving exercise. The RTA always seeks to introduce the latest telecommunication technologies in coordination with etisalat, a key provider of the smart services bundle offered by the RTA to public transport commuters and other beneficiaries comprising citizens, residents, visitors and tourists.”

He added: “The WiFi service on board intercity buses will be subject to a continuous assessment with a view to expanding and improving the scope of the service in collaboration with etisalat in order to ensure the smooth and continued functionality of the service. Etisalat is offering quality services not only across the nation but also at the regional and international levels as well.”

Salvador Anjlada, CEO, Business Sector, etisalat, said: “Etisalat has a unique and long history of solid partnerships with the government sector in the UAE. Over more than 40 years, it has demonstrated commitment in responding to the needs of government entities in the field of telecommunications and IT. We are excited to support the efforts of RTA’s Public Transport Agency towards improving the services offered to clients, fulfilling the ambitions of the Smart Government, and living up to the high profile of the UAE in the telecommunication and IT industries. This constructive cooperation will offer inter-city bus riders a free high-speed internet service via their portable devices and smartphones. The experience will enable them to use their time spent on board our buses.”

Maher Al Zarouni, CEO of eZeLink, the provider of technological services of the joint venture, said: “Innovation is one of the key pillars of growth in the UAE given the vital role played by technology in realising the vision of smart cities. Today’s announcement is a significant step in this direction, enabling passengers to remain connected and access online information, services they require in transit. We are pleased to be part of this creative project and team up with etisalat to provide internet connectivity to RTA clients.”