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It only costs Dh2 (in addition to 5 fils per kilometre) on all bus routes in Abu Dhabi Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The number of people using public transport every day in Abu Dhabi has crossed 245,000 for the first time, Gulf News can reveal.

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The Integrated Transport Centre (ITC), affiliated with the Department of Municipalities and Transport in Abu Dhabi, said the figure represents an increase of around 45 per cent since 2019, when the tally stood at a comparatively low 170,000.

Atiq Mohammed Al Mazrouei, director of Operations Department at ITC, said: “Our vision is to enhance the livability of Abu Dhabi emirate through a safe and efficient public transport system that supports its economic development, sustainability, and quality of life.”

He added: “Public transport buses are witnessing an increasing demand from the public due to the quality of their services, the integration of their routes and the diversification of transportation options on board, enabling bus users to reach their various destinations easily, quickly, comfortably and safely.”

Unified fare

He added that the recent decision to unify the fare of public transport buses at Dh2 (in addition to 5 fils per kilometre), which was implemented a few days ago, will contribute to encouraging the public to use mass transport. It will also meet the growing demand for public transport services and enhance integration between its routes to provide more effective and higher services. The goal of unifying the fare is to cover a wider geographical area with a reduced and simple tariff system.

ITC has also expanded the geographical scope of public transport permits to include the “basic service” in all regions of the emirate (except cross-city services) and updated its tariff so that a bus card permit becomes effective from the date of purchase. There will be one permit worth Dh35 that will be issued for seven days, and another for Dh95 covering 30 days.

Tram-like bus

In 2023, ITC launched many projects, including a mass transit system vehicle on Abu Dhabi Island. The experimental phase of the project began with the operation of long tram-like buses operating in a transportation system without tram or rail tracks. The pilot phase includes 25 stations on a route that is around 27km long.

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These multi-carriage electric vehicles, with air-conditioned comfort, require no alterations to existing infrastructure and offer the perfect blend of buses and trams Image Credit: Supplied

Faster routes

The ITC also implemented modifications and improvements to the services and routes of public transport buses in the city of Abu Dhabi and its suburbs. The improvements included the provision of limited-stop bus services along Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Road, which is the L41, L42 and L43 service, to reduce travel time between downtown Abu Dhabi and high-demand areas on Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Road, the Capital Region and Rabdan. ITC also added a night bus service.