Passengers disembark from a public transport bus from Al Ghubaiba bus station, Bur Dubai Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Newly developed areas in Dubai will soon have public bus routes as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) plans a major revamp of its ever-expanding network.

As part of its constant review system, the authority will launch five routes, curtail three routes and extend five routes with effect from June 1.

RTA is currently carrying out studies to develop routes in areas such as Motor City, Dubai Sports City, International Media Production Zone, Dubai International Academic City and Dubai Outsource Zone. Most of the areas being surveyed either have limited or no bus connectivity.

“We currently have 85 per cent urban areas covered and we are now planning to expand to areas that are newly developed but are still not fully populated. We are doing the feasibility studies and the design of the routes,” said Eisa Al Hashemi, Acting Director of Planning and Business Development at the RTA’s Public Transport Agency.

Apart from the expansion of new areas, existing routes are also being realigned to make them more efficient, while a few routes are also being either redesigned or extended to cover more areas.

“At the RTA we constantly review our services to make sure people get the best, whenever there is a need to make changes to routes to make them more efficient we do necessary changes. We are constantly in touch with commuters and their feedback is valuable to us,” said Al Hashemi.

He said where there was demand for a new route or modification of a route the authority acted accordingly.

Among the new routes to be launched from June 1 is Route 43, which will connect Dubai Gold Souq bus station with Dubai Festival City. The route will cover Muraqqabat and Dubai Airport Terminal 1 on the way.

Three new routes have been launched from Abu Hail Metro station, C3 will connect Abu Hail with Karama, C7 will travel between Abu Hail and Dubai Healthcare City, while an intercity route E307A will commute between Abu Hail Metro station and Al Jubail bus station in Sharjah.

Of the total 24 feeder routes, which serve as a major support system to Metro commuters, two are being modified, with F46 and F21 extended to serve more areas.

With effect from June 1, Route F46 will be extended to Dubai Investment Park 2 area to cover the Dunes Village locality which has been recently occupied. Also, feeder route F21 is being extended to cover more areas inside Al Nahda 2.

Apart from feeder routes, several urban routes have also been modified to either cover more areas or drop a few localities.

Route 44 has been extended up to Rashidiya Metro station, Route 64A to cover Dubai Festival City as its extension, and Route 84 to cover Tecom residential area as well.

Among the routes curtailed are Route 4, which will not have the Dubai Festival City diversion, Route 22 will go only up to Deira City Centre and Route 81 reduced till Deir Gold Souq bus station, while Routes 42, F2 and F16 have been cancelled.

As many as 1,572 buses, including double-decker and articulated, travel on 90 bus routes across the emirate, dozens of buses also connect with other emirates through 11 bus routes.

Buses continue to be the biggest means of transport in Dubai, with 38.5 million passengers transported in the first four months of 2013, compared with 37.1 million in the same period of 2012, registering a 3.2 per cent growth.

Dubai buses, including urban and feeder, carry out 8,339 trips in a week.