A good public bus service is a must for the success of the Dubai Metro, which is set to start operation on September 9, a senior official told Gulf News today. "We are fully in the business of having a comprehensive public transport network supported by the Metro and the feeder bus service," said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA.
He said Dubai will have 1,800 public buses by the end of the year and 2,100 buses by the end of 2010.
"The aim is to turn Dubai from a car-oriented city to the public transport-oriented city," he said at a press conference to announce the Dh1.9 billion contract given to Swaidan Trading of Dubai-based Al Naboodah Group of Companies.
The company will provide 518 tailor made luxury Citea buses manufactured by Netherlands-based VDL group between July and April next year.
The Dh1.9 billion contract includes Dh845.7 million as cost of buses and Dh1.05 billion for maintenance and service of buses for eight years.
The RTA will run a total of 787 feeder buses to carry passengers in the communities around Metro stations. Initially, 350 buses will serve the Red Line and 150 will be used for the Green Line.
The RTA has already announced 41 routes for the feeder buses to serve 29 stations on the Red Line, which is the first to open in September.
"Purchasing these new buses is part of a comprehensive strategic plan developed by the RTA to upgrade mass transport system in Dubai and attract new commuters in an effort to reduce road traffic congestion," Al Tayer said
He said the buses provided by Swaidan Trading would be deployed on feeder lines of the Metro stations. Each bus measuring 12 metres in length will have a capacity of 68 passengers.
Buses are equipped with state-of-the-art passenger information systems, a real time vehicle monitoring system and automated fare collection system.
"The high technological features of these buses will contribute to attracting larger number of commuters to use mass transport modes," Al Tayer noted.
Swaidan Al Naboudah, Vice-Chairman, Al Naboodah Commercial Group, said the contract was an excellent opportunity for the company to establish close relations with the RTA and play an important role in the progress drive of Dubai.