Abu Dhabi's Park and Ride bus service offers alternative to tolls and boosts efforts to cut congestion
The transport scheme was launched in the capital on January 2
A new bus service in Abu Dhabi helps motorists to avoid toll charges while supporting the emirate's drive to cut congestion.
The Park and Ride scheme was launched at the start of the year to reduce the number of cars on the capital's roads.
The initiative coincided with the start of the toll gate system as part of a major push to promote alternative forms of transport.
It allows motorists to park their vehicles in designated parking areas and take a public bus free of charge to travel within the city.
“The aim of the initiative is to reduce traffic congestion during peak hours," said Ateeq Mohammed Al Mazrouei, operations director of the Integrated Transport Centre’s public transport division.
"Car owners can travel within the city free of charge in buses that offer Wi-Fi. So, the idea is to give motorists a new gift in this new year.”
The emirate's four toll gates are on the main bridges leading to Abu Dhabi city – Sheikh Zayed Bridge, Sheikh Khalifa Bridge, Al Maqta Bridge, and Mussaffah Bridge.
From Saturday to Thursday, road users will pay a Dh4 charge when driving through the gates between 7am and 9am and between 5pm and 7pm.
A maximum fee of Dh16 will be levied against commuters in any one day and charges will be capped at Dh200 a month for one vehicle.
“With the Park and Ride service, motorists can park their cars in the designated areas in Mohamed bin Zayed City and Al Shahama and get coupons from the staff there," Mr Al Mazrouei said.
"A maximum of three coupons can be given for each vehicle – for the driver and two passengers.”
“The coupons will allow them to travel to any of the five stops and return. They will be valid throughout the day for unlimited trips.”
Currently two bus services are in operation. Service No 104 departs from Al Huwaim Street in Mohamed bin Zayed City and goes to Abu Dhabi main bus terminal in Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan Street, Al Wahda Mall, Etisalat building and Qasr Al Hosn. Eight buses are allocated to serve this 50-minute trip.
Service No 411 travels from Shahama F1 assembly point to Abu Dhabi main bus terminal in Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan Street, Maryam bint Saeed Mosque parking, Abu Dhabi Central Post Office parking and Al Danah. The trip is 50 minutes. Seven buses will serve this route.
There are 1,000 parking spaces allocated in Mohamed bin Zayed City and Al Shahama for the service.
The buses follow social distancing protocols because of the Covid-19 pandemic and operate at 50 per cent capacity.
“The buses can allow only 24 passengers even though they have 47 seats. In addition, they undergo deep sanitisation every day. The drivers also have equipment and clean the bars, ticket machines and doors after each trip,” Mr Mazrouei said.
The service can be used on all days from 6am to 9pm, except Fridays.
The frequency of the bus is 20 minutes during peak hours, 6am to 9am and 4pm to 9pm, and every 60 minutes during off-peak hours in each direction.
A total of 116 trips are completed every day.
Updated: January 21, 2021 12:41 PM