UAE issues a new decision regarding public transport buses in Abu Dhabi

The Integrated Transport Centre of the Department of Municipalities and Transport in Abu Dhabi Emirate has announced the consolidation of city and suburban transport services into a unified "basic service," effective tomorrow, Wednesday.

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This move aims to extend coverage over a larger geographic area and introduce a simplified fare structure, priced at 2 dirhams plus 5 fils per kilometre, to enhance the public transportation experience in Abu Dhabi.

This initiative is part of the ongoing efforts by the Integrated Transport Centre to promote the use of mass transit, meet increasing demand, and improve route integration to deliver more efficient services across the emirate. These enhancements are expected to contribute positively to environmental sustainability and the overall quality of life in the city.

Furthermore, the scope of public transport permits has been expanded to encompass the basic service across all emirate regions (excluding cross-city services). Updated tariffs have been introduced for bus card permits, effective February 28, 2024, including 7-day permits priced at 35 dirhams and 30-day permits at 95 dirhams. Permits issued under the previous system will remain valid until expiration but are restricted to island areas and do not cover the basic service.

Within a sixty-minute period, riders can switch between bus services without paying extra for boarding as long as they don't go in the other direction or make more than two transfers totaling up to three buses (not including excursions between cities). Trip validation requires swiping the "Hafalat" smart card while boarding and exiting; failing to do so may result in a full fare deduction or fines.

Additionally, low-income national families eligible for social support programmes can access subsidised public transportation permits, priced at 30 dirhams for a 7-day card and 80 dirhams for a 30-day card. This initiative aligns with the UAE leadership's vision to enhance societal empowerment and family stability, in line with the principles of societal well-being and quality of life.

Annual passes for the elderly, disabled, and students are among the categories that have not altered. These permits grant access to the basic service across the emirate (with the exception of cross-city services), and children under ten travel free of charge. Over 83 million passenger trips were taken on Abu Dhabi's public transport system in 2023. The fleet, which consists of 825 buses, is outfitted with contemporary amenities, enhanced fuel efficiency, and environmentally sustainable practices.

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