ABU DHABI // Commuters say complaints about poorly maintained air-conditioning in bus shelters have fallen on deaf ears.
They say that every year since the air-conditioned bus shelters were introduced in 2008, they have reported air-conditioning or sliding doors that are out of order, or water dripping inside.
Of 50 shelters visited in Abu Dhabi City this week, 16 had defective AC, some had doors that were locked or damaged and others had water dripping. Most were found on Muroor Road, where 12 were not working. Two were found on Airport Road and one on Al Falah Street.
Rehana, an Indian mother of two, said she and her daughter were often forced to wait up to 30 minutes in the heat in front of a bus shelter on Airport Road.
“I come every day to get my kid from the school bus and I have not seen this shelter in good condition for more than a year and a half,” said Rehana, who waits with daughter Zoya, 3, to pick up her other daughter, Ziya, 5.
The mother said she arrived about 15 to 20 minutes before the bus was scheduled because it was sometimes early.
“We are now used to faulty shelters and we know it doesn’t work,” she said.
“If they can’t keep it up, they should build an open, shaded bus stop.”
Syrian Rania Shaar, waiting for a bus at Al Zahra stop on Muroor Road, said that many shelters along the street did not have working air-conditioning.
“They look newly built and everything from the outside looks good, but when you enter you come out quickly as they are extremely hot,” she said.
“Every day I come to this stop and I have to wait outside.”
Kabil Ahmed, standing in the shade of a tree behind a bus shelter near two schools on Muroor Road, said the bus stop was very busy year-round.
“The compressor is working properly for this one,” said Mr Ahmed, a Pakistani student.
“Sometimes it works fine but still the cooling is not good and mostly I have found it out of order.”
Mahmoud Abo Shoib, from Palestine, was waiting at Al Mamoura bus stop on Muroor Road. He wondered why the shelters did not seem to be maintained.
“I don’t understand why the authorities don’t repair it regularly,” he said. “Everything looks to be in good condition except the air-conditioning.”
Despite the broken air conditioning, he was sitting inside to get some shade. “I can’t bear the heat outside. It’s very hot.”
Indian resident Salam said that if the units were not fixed soon there would be no use in repairing them in winter.
“I take the bus every day from here but both have defective machines,” Salam said, pointing to both sides of the road.
The Abu Dhabi Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport did not respond to a request for comment.