it’s the 5th anniversary of RTA (dubai road and transport authority), and they celebrate it by making 1st november a ‘free public transport day’!
metro (their lrt system), busses and water transport (the abra) – all were free for all on this day. guess how many people ditched their car to take advantage of this once-a-year offer?
dubai prince, sheikh majid, anak pemimpin dubai officiated the day by riding on all the available public transport. cool, eh?
the aim of the free transport day is (from gulfnews)
- to involve various public and private sectors and different segments of communities
- boost the use of public transport in the emirate
- reduced fuel costs and vehicle maintenance
- reduced traffic fatalities
- less carbon emissions
this is the first time dubai held a ‘free public transport day’, and will make it an annual ‘celebration’.
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some interesting bit about the public transports in dubai :
the bus stops are air-conditioned.
yeap. as you can see from the picture above (taken from my sis in law tina’s facebook) there are doors, and during the scorching summer heat, you can wait for the bus in the cold comfort of the cool bus stop.
i repeat – bus stop. ade air-con.
i’ve waited inside once, not for the bus though, but for mr. khairul. and a lady complained that since she’s the only one inside, sometimes the bus just pass by and did not stop. hmm. what’s the point of the tinted doors – to protect from heat, but bus drivers can’t see (or choose not to see that one passenger) the passengers waiting at the bus stop?
so how? hihi.
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that’s mr. khairul’s little bro asrar during his cuti-cuti dubai late last year. yes, mr. khairul’s whole family came all the way and took the opportunity to ride on the ‘water transport’, or the abra, to cross dubai creek.
the fare? just 1 dirham! (less than RM1!)
abra is a traditional boat made of wood, and the original, classic way of transportation for dubaians. now people are still using it, including tourists like my bro in law la. hihi.
where passengers sit all around it, facing outward – 10 on each side. and yes, like you see in the picture – there are no railings or raised sides to hold on to. ade la canopy nak teduh dari panas but it’s really open-air like that! scary kan? but this is what the dubai people use, daily!
the scarier part is, it’s mentioned that small collisions between abras are common, as they jostle for space while at the creek! brrr! langgar-langgar tu biase je!
dubai creek separates the old dubai (deira), and the new dubai (bur dubai). i think there are 4 roads/bridge including a couple of tunnels you can use to cross the creek by car.
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while abra is the traditional mode of transportation, metro is the modern one. newly launched, and a few new lines opened, more and more people are opting for metro to commute.
i had the pleasure of using this brand new train service late last year when my in laws came. i’m proud to say that malaysia had been using this service for many many years ahead of dubai, eventhough ours are not as posh and our train stations are not as lavishly designed. ye la diorang punya train station siap ade chandellier tu!
me on dubai metro with sis in law tina & bro in law asrar
read my ‘adventure’ on dubai metro here.
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hmm. ‘free public transport’ day. imagine if malaysia has such a ‘day’…