Abu Dhabi has launched a free bus service for healthcare workers in the capital.
The bus-on-demand service from the Integrated Transport Centre, a company that manages public transport in Abu Dhabi, is free to medics making their journey to and from work.
The buses operate daily from 6pm to 8am but authorities said they may extend those hours.
Each bus can accommodate a maximum of seven passengers, with six regular seats and a place for a wheelchair user.
The number of passengers has been kept low to maintain a safe distance between travellers and respect coronavirus prevention measures.
Princess Estabaya, who works as a coordinator at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, takes the bus at 7pm with her colleagues.
“Before this service, I would walk home for 20 to 25 minutes. It’s tiring to work for 12 hours and then walk all the way home. By taking this bus, I can reach home before the restricted hours in the night come into force,” she said.
Larraine Ocampo works as a nurse at the same hospital and lives four kilometres away on Hamdan bin Mohammed Street.
“I used to commute daily using a public bus, but there were fewer seats available as they limited the number of passengers. It’s great that they are taking the necessary steps to keep a safe distance but it makes it difficult for me to find a ride back home,” she said.
“Now with this new service for healthcare workers, it’s easier getting back home.”
To request a bus seat, users can download the Abu Dhabi Healthcare Link app on Apple Store or Google Play Store.
Healthcare workers need to register, enter the name of the hospital where they work and their staff identification details.
Once the registration is complete, they can specify their pick-up and drop-off locations to request a bus.
The app then provides details such as waiting time, estimated time of arrival and the duration of the trip.