Dubai’s bus fleet to double

The explosive growth of Dubai, the huge increase in population & motor vehicles, coupled with the lack of an extensive public transport system, has caused chaos on the roads. Getting around and finding parking space can be a nightmare.

Currently we’re limited to around 600 buses, plus taxis and the little traditional ferries, abras, which take people across the Creek which runs through the centre of the city.

Not much for a city of 1.4 million!

But now US$270 million is being spent on additional buses, including double-deckers and long articulated ‘bendy’ buses.

Gulf News photo.

It’s reported that 620 new buses will be added to the fleet by the end of 2008, bringing the total to around 1,200.

We also have discussions continuing about the introduction of exclusive bus lanes in particularly congested areas of the city. Given Dubai drivers’ cavalier attitude to road rules, that will need some severe policing if it’s going to work!

There’s also a unique experiment in the introduction of air-conditioned bus stops. The first prototype is in place and the idea may be extended to as many as 500 of the bus stops. In a city where summer temperatures can reach 50C (122F) coupled with humidity up in the high 90% range, people simply won’t be able to stand in the sun for any length of time waiting for a bus. So the A/C bus stops are planned to encourage bus use.

RTA illustration

The initiatives with the bus system are part of the overall development of the public transport system which, as I reported in earlier posts, includes a new rail system and water transport.

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