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Free bus at Media City for three months from Sunday

Khaleej Times logo Khaleej Times 13/04/2018 Staff Report
Free bus at Media City for three months from Sunday © Provided by Khaleej Times Free bus at Media City for three months from Sunday

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai intends to broaden the scope of the trial operation of "Bus on Demand" service to include the Dubai Media City starting from Sunday, April 15, free of charge for three months. The service is part of the RTA's initiatives under the Dubai Future Accelerators. 

Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO of RTA's Public Transport Agency, said: "This service is part of RTA's initiatives under the Dubai Future Accelerators.

RTA had opted to broaden the scope of the service under the current trial phase starting from April 15 to assess the response of the public in the Dubai Media City. There are several vital hotspots there such as Nakheel Harbour & Tower Station, American University of Dubai, Dubai Commercial Bank, and Aurora Tower.

They also include Reuters Agency, CNN Station, Arabia & MBC Channels, Samsung, SAP, ITP Media, Concord Towers, Jumeirah Palm Tram Station, Tecom Business Parks, Master Card, IBM, Oracle, Google, Microsoft, and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank."

"We anticipate a broad response to this service from public transport users, especially as the widening of this service covers important areas and passes through Dubai Metro and Tram stations," added Bahrozyan. 

Geospatial data

"Recently, the RTA has added the geospatial data of Al Barsha 1 & 2, Al Warqaa 3 & 4 and Dubai Media City to the MVMANT App. Thus, residents and workers in these three communities, served during the trial run of this free service, can identify their locations and track the movement of the bus until its arrival. 

"The smart response to the demand of public transport riders is based on the idea of linking certain localities with mini public buses calling at their locations, through a smart app.

"The App enables commuters to figure out their routes from the start point up to the final destination, book their preferred seats, and pay the fares. The service offers a creative solution for the First/Last Mile journey between the homes of riders and the nearest public transport station," continued Bahrozyan. 

"During the free trial operation of the service in the three communities, it will be possible to assess the service efficiency and accessibility to riders, response time, and the journey time to destination.

"A questionnaire will be conducted at metro stations for residents and employees at Al Barsha, Al Warqaa and the Dubai Media City to screen their needs, ideas and views about the service," he further added. 

It is noteworthy that RTA has commissioned a site survey and an opinion poll before the launch of this initiative. These surveys have covered more than (1,750) samples comprising 63 per cent males and 37 per cent females. About 53 per cent of respondents are between 25 to 34 years. 

Targeted service

The service targets three categories: Workers (23%), occupational specialists (15%), and retail and services business (62%). The site survey was based on several parameters highlighted by the demography of service users, car ownership, mobility options, nearest public transport station/stops, and preferred mobility choices such as the walking distance, waiting time etc. Other parameters included comfort, the accuracy of schedules, and service on demand, service proximity to homes and destinations, and affordable fares. The latest international practices were incorporated from Spain, Germany, United States and Finland, among others. 

The Bus on Demand service will be offered through the smart app (MVMANT) available on Google Play and Apple Stores on smartphones and devices. The 18-seater buses will operate on flexible routes and schedules, and bus drivers can communicate with service requesters through the app to reach the nearest point to their destinations. 

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