Mar 01 2020
Launching Bus On-Demand service in several Dubai areas
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has recently started the formal operation of the Bus On-Demand service at several Dubai localities including Al Barsha 1, Dubai Internet City, International City, The Greens, and the Dubai Silicon Oasis. The formal running of services followed a successful period of trials that went according to the plan.
“The Bus On-Demand service is a mobility mode that contributes to easing the first and last-mile challenge. It involves deploying on-demand minibuses via a smart app in specific areas of Dubai. Following successful trials on this vital service, RTA decided to officially launch the service in certain communities.
Selected areas have their own hotspots attractive to various community segments,” said Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO of Public Transport Agency, RTA.
Bahrozyan expected the service to be quite popular amongst public transport riders, especially as it is smooth, accessible and have flexible routes that can be tailored to the needs of certain categories. “The initiative provides service to areas of low-demand public transport, reduces operational costs in view of the fixed service times, integrates with public transport means, and reduces riders waiting time,” he added.
“The initiative has other benefits that relate to clients, operation and the environment. It reduces the walking distance and waiting time of passengers, and improves their transit experience through the use of high-quality buses.
“As for operation, the bus is smaller and consumes less fuel, and the smart scheduling system reduces wasted kilometres. As for the environment, the initiative reduces carbon emissions and private vehicle journeys within service coverage points.
“To run the service, RTA entered the geospatial data of Al Barsha 1, Dubai Internet City, International City, The Greens, and the Dubai Silicon Oasis. The data entry enables riders in covered areas to locate themselves and track the movement of the bus until it arrives at their sites.
The smart system for responding to the demand of riders is based on the concept of connecting some areas by mini public buses from selected points through a smart app that enables riders to identify their routes from the start to the destination and pay the fare. The service provides an innovative solution to the first and last-mile journeys in those areas and connects with the nearest public transport station.
“During the trial operation phase, RTA verified the service efficiency parameters namely accessibility to riders, response time, and the transit time. A survey was carried out at metro stations to screen the needs, ideas and views of residents about the service before the full operation so that the service can measure up to their expectations of safe and smooth transport,” added Bahrozyan.
The parameters of the survey also included residential segments that use the service, car ownership, mobility options, nearest public transport stop/station, preferred mobility option (walking distance, waiting time, … etc), convenience, punctuality, on-demand service, proximity to homes and destinations, and the affordability of fare. In doing so, RTA adopted top global practices prevailing in countries like Spain, Germany, USA and Finland.
The initiative was also based on other aspects such as the optimal use of land, type of commercial activities, average individual incomes, age groups, population density, avoiding competition with current public transit means and requests received from the public.