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It’s all your fault.
Not enough feeder buses? Frustrated with the way the public transport routes are set up? Well you’ve only got yourself to blame says RTA.
October 30, 2011 4:09 by Eva Fernandes
A frequent user of public transport, (oh yeah, we’re environmental like that) a report in Emirates 24|7 caught our eye, titled: “Dubai Marina, JLT residents complain over lack of bus services.” Even though the RTA is the happy owners of a large impressive shiny fleet of beautiful buses, the fact remains there is still some headway towards a fully developed, sophisticated and frequent transport network to connect the city, let alone the whole country.
Take for instance, the metro station at Dubai Media City (Nakheel) that opened last year. After a rather painful series of trial and error, the RTA has finally, one year on, managed to get 2 feeder buses that come every 15-20 minutes from the metro station to shuttle passengers to the neighbouring Knowledge Village, Internet City and Dubai Media City. One year, people, one year!
And there’s the rather puzzling entrance at the Dubai Internet City metro station that looks more like an afterthought than a properly planned entrance. It only had several flights of metal steps, no lifts for the handicapped or even elevators.
That you have to crawl before you can run is quite understandable in this case. After all, the country has achieved so much in the little over 40 years it’s been in existence. I don’t expect the RTA to have a fail-proof public bus system (even though they have had a proper functioning public bus system since the early 2000s)—most of our countries of origin have their fair share of problem areas, after all. What I do expect, however, is a proactive transport department that’s not just ready to take feedback but also prepared to look out for spots where problems may most likely occur and solve it before it actually happens.
Consider the comments of Essa Abdulrahman Al Dossary, CEO Public Transport Agency, RTA. This was his response to the complaints highlighted by Emirates 24|7 on not having enough feeder buses in the Jumeirah Lake Towers. He said, “We went to survey the JLT area to find out the need of any bus services. But we did not receive any feedback. (…) we did not receive any fax or email stating the need, if and when we get we will definitely resolve the problem.
Also the area has many residents who travel by their own vehicle there is shortage of demand for bus (sic).”
OK, that the department has not received any complaints is secondary. The RTA’s main role is to provide transport solutions; it is to ease the commuter’s burden by providing convenient routes and frequent feeder buses.
That residents chose to travel by their vehicles should not be the reason for apathy and indifference. In fact, isn’t Public Transport Day on November 1 all about convincing people of the benefits of public transport? Isn’t Big (carbon) Foot Dubai trying to reduce its massive footprints by making its commuters travel more and more by public transport?
But perhaps, fellow commuters, sometimes it is better to do more than just whinge on one’s blog. Here is a request from one commuter to another, if you wish there was a feeder bus route in existence why not SPAM, I mean, send your requests to the RTA as soon as you finish reading this article?