A few days ago, when I was waiting at the Al Nahda 1, Terminus 2 bus stop at the Dubai-Sharjah border, I observed that a lot of people from the area were accessing the bus stop to head to multiple routes. They were probably going to work in Dubai or returning home to Sharjah.
I saw people walking through the sandy open space to reach the bus stop from the Sharjah side. During the summer months, walking on this sandy path will be strenuous, especially if there is a sandstorm. Also, it is risky crossing the busy road.
It would benefit the public if the concerned authorities could take the necessary steps and consider constructing a footbridge in the area that leads to the bus stops on both sides of the road.
Another necessity in this area, which the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) could consider, is Nol top-up machines. Once, I witnessed a few tourists wanting to buy Nol cards and others trying to top up their existing cards. They approached one of the bus drivers, standing at the bus stop, for help.
The driver advised them to go to a nearby place, where these machines had been installed. Since they were a group of people, one of them took a taxi, leaving the others at the bus stop, till he returned with the Nol cards, so that all of them could continue their journey together.
In order to alleviate such difficulties encountered by tourists, the RTA could install Nol card machines here, thereby saving passengers’ time. Additionally, the RTA could entrust the bus drivers to keep new Nol cards to sell to passengers, like the tickets they used to sell earlier, when passengers boarded the bus.
Since Expo 2020 is nearing, a lot of tourists and visitors are expected to visit the UAE for various reasons. The authorities could take steps to install such facilities at important spots.
I would also like to highlight the necessity of Nol card machines in Dubai’s International City, where no such machines are available, even though it is a vast residential area and there are a lot of routes being utilised by the public. International City also lacks sheltered bus stops.
I would also like to draw the attention of the RTA, on behalf of my friends who reside in the Dubailand Residence Complex. There is no public bus service from here, going towards Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), Bur Dubai, Mirdif, Al Rashidiya and even towards Sharjah.
I met Ajish Ajoel, a student based in the Dubailand Residence Complex, on the bus once. We were both travelling from Al Nahda 1, Terminus 2, to International City, from where he would travel onward to his residence. He talked about the difficulties he faced while travelling from his accommodation to his university and other areas, too.
He said: “This matter should be brought to the concerned authorities for a solution. Every weekend, I visit my uncle in Sharjah’s Al Nahda area and then return to my accommodation. ”
Similar to him, a lot of students from these areas, including Sharjah, are studying in universities at DIAC. Bus services would help them save on travel time.
I hope that the RTA will take the necessary remedial steps at the earliest possible.
– The reader is based in Dubai.
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The reader’s concerns were raised with the management of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). They immediately investigated his concerns and responded.
They state: “Shelters have been installed in the Al Nahda 1 Terminus and we are in the process of installing ticket vending machines (TVM) as part of the next phase of the TVM project. Additionally, cash handling by drivers is not permitted as per RTA norms. However, we will find a suitable solution to address this issue.
“We have conducted an online survey in the Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) and received around 4,000 responses. Currently, we are analysing the survey data and the route to DIAC and service standards of the routes will be decided based on the survey results. Moreover, we already have plans to operate a route via the Skycourts Towers within the Dubailand Residence Complex. It will be implemented in the next service change.”