DUBAI// Using public transport should not be a “one off” event for Car Free Day, say residents, but an everyday means of getting around the city that also helps protect the environment and reduce pollution.
Dubai Municipality’s annual initiative, now in its seventh year, encouraged people to leave their cars at home on February 21 and use environmentally friendly modes of transport. It is hoped that thousands of vehicles will be taken off the emirate’s roads, saving fuel and preventing tonnes of harmful gases being released into the atmosphere.
The emirate’s public transport system, which includes buses, trams and the metro, means people can reach every part of Dubai easily and cheaply.
Tourists Jenny Rebizo, 22, and Mary Ann Banla, 27, said they were very happy using public transport to get around.
“We’re here visiting from the Philippines and we have been using the Metro and buses to get around,” said Ms Rebizo, adding that yesterday was the first time they had used the Dubai Tram. “We are very impressed by the public transport here, which is sufficient and very clean,” said Ms Banla. “Taxis may be a faster mode of transportation, but we’re happy to see the city using the metro, and it is also cheaper than a taxi.”
For Indian Abdul Hashif, 23, the metro was the easiest way to get around the city.
“I’m a salesman and have been living in Dubai for three years, and I find the metro the best way to get to my destinations,” he said, adding that he thought Dubai Municipality’s Car Free Day was a good way to raise awareness and get people to use buses and trains.
Thoufeeq Musthafa, 24, from India, said that although a car was available to him, he used the bus to get from Abu Dhabi to Dubai to attend Amity University. “It’s easier, and it’s cheaper and saves you the hassle of worrying about parking,” he said. “We only use the car for business.”
He said Car Free Day should be taken seriously, because using public transport was in the interest of all residents as well as the environment.