RTA expands ‘Bus on Demand’ service to Business Bay in Dubai – UAE


Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has expanded its ‘Bus on Demand’ service to Business Bay following a successful month-long trial, as per the planned roll-out of the initiative.  

Adel Shakri, Director of Planning and Business Development at RTA’s Public Transport Agency, said, “The decision to extend the ‘Bus on Demand’ service to Business Bay aims to bolster the mass transit network and ease congestion in vital areas. The initiative also responds to the growing demand for the service in the Business Bay, a hub for numerous corporate offices and businesses in the emirate.

“The ‘Bus on Demand’ service has been well received by public transport users, particularly as the new expansion includes key areas and passes through a metro and tram station. As such, it provides a kind of integrated public transport network that allows passengers to travel to their destinations swiftly and safely,” said Shakri.

“The initiative operates on a smart response system which tailors bus availability to user demand. This service is executed using mini public buses that connect various areas through a smart app that enables customers to specify their journey from start to finish and pay the applicable fares. The service offers an innovative solution for first and last-mile trips, and links customers’ residential areas to the nearest mass transit stations,” explained Shakri.

Before launching the service a few years ago, RTA conducted a comprehensive field survey based on several criteria, including the demographics of potential users, vehicle ownership rates, mobility options, proximity to public transport stations and stops, and preferred mobility options (walking distance, waiting time, …etc.). Other considerations included comfort, punctuality, the on-demand nature of the service, accessibility to homes and mobility destinations, cost-effectiveness, and the environmental sustainability of the service. Additionally, RTA consulted top international practices in countries like Spain, Germany, the United States, and Finland.

“The initiative is also based on other criteria such as the optimal land use, quality of commercial activities in the area, average income & age groups of riders, and population density, ensuring that the new service does not compete with existing public transport systems, and respond to public requests,” he added.

The service operates through the Dubai Bus On Demand app available on both Apple Store and Google Play Store for smartphones and devices. The service operates 14-seater buses that navigate various geographical areas with flexible schedules and timings. Drivers of these buses can communicate directly with service requesters via the app, allowing them to reach the nearest point to a user’s location within the areas currently covered by the service: Al Barsha, Al Nahda, Dubai Silicon Oasis, and Business Bay. Additionally, RTA plans to expand the service to other geographical areas of the emirate later this year.

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