Carrot and stick

Discounts on public transport are perfectly timed with the deregulation of fuel prices

Some people who resist using public transport might find it a more enjoyable experience than they expect. Sarah Dea / The National
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With the new deregulated prices for petrol and diesel due to be announced today, the timing of a month-long 50 per cent discount price for Nol cards to use Dubai's public transport system could hardly have been better. This combination of carrot and stick will encourage some who resist using the metro, buses and trams to try them.

Making transport more sustainable was always going to involve both incentives and deterrents. With new fuel prices that more closely reflect global prices due to take effect on August 1, making public transport more appealing is an important step.

In both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, people for whom public transport is feasible continue to drive. If they can be encouraged to try public transport, they may find that despite any misgivings or misapprehensions they might have harboured, it is a viable alternative. Discounted tickets are a good way to help ease some out of their cars and onto sustainable forms of transport.