I have recently started taking the public bus to work. I have been pleasantly surprised by the cleanliness of the buses, their frequency and efficiency, as well as the savings I make and the time I save by not having to look for a parking spot.
What does surprise me is the number of passengers taking a free ride on numerous occasions. I have noted passengers boarding and getting off the buses without presenting their Hafilat card.
If what I see on my daily short journeys is any indication, then I suspect that the Department of Transport is forgoing thousands of dirhams a day in lost revenue. As is so often the case in these circumstances, honest people who pay their way will suffer when the fares are increased.
I am not aware whether or not the service is policed, but with tens of millions of rides a year, the lost income could be significant.
Name withheld by request
Is Obama to blame for Trump’s rise?
The author of the article Barack Obama's failures gave America Donald Trump (January 24) has judged Barack Obama on his international policies, which I agree were not the best.
However, the people who elected Donald Trump based their decision not on his international policies but on his national economic policies. Ironically, the national economy was recuperating after a disastrous Republican administration.
The Middle East won’t be necessarily better with Mr Trump, and it is clear that he will allow Vladimir Putin to keep Bashar Al Assad in power and support Israeli settlement expansion. If you like that, then Mr Trump is your man.
Mr Obama has achieved more in eight years than most presidents before him, despite the sustained and massive efforts from the Republicans to prevent him from implementing any policies at all. Under his administration debt and unemployment dropped, health and welfare improved, people gained rights that should have been given decades ago. The list is extensive.
The only connection between Mr Obama’s term and the rise of Mr Trump is that the ultra-right could not accept the idea of a black man getting the top job of the United States. And to make matters worse, the man was smart, intelligent, charming, witty, made good decisions and generally did a brilliant job of it.
Despite all their best efforts and their constant whining about birth certificates, they were never able to find a single thing to discredit him or his family.
This is why the disenfranchised white males of “redneck” areas have obsessively lapped up all of Mr Trump’s lies.
They wanted a Trump so they could slap down all the liberals, blacks, Muslims, Mexicans and anyone else they perceive as better than themselves.
Name withheld by request
The recession Mr Obama inherited magnified the social alienation of the whites and fuelled their willingness to support a racist, anti-intellectual, sexual predator, who promised them to bring back long gone jobs and that they would have permission to blame minorities for their misfortune. He used Second World War rhetoric to invoke the sense that he alone could help them. How is that Mr Obama’s fault? There are terrible foreign-policy decisions that can be placed squarely at Mr Obama’s door, but the rise of Mr Trump cannot be blamed on him.
Don’t rob Jebel Jais of its beauty
One of the most beautiful features of Jebel Jais is that you can enjoy the real beauty of a starry night there (Residents have mixed opinions about plans to widen Jebel Jais road, January 23).
I hope the authorities will realise that this asset will be gone if they plan to light up the entire stretch of the road.