Abu Dhabi // The Department of Transport has introduced free parking and buses in a service to free up the capital’s roads and reduce pollution.
In the Park and Ride initiative launched on Saturday, the department provides shuttle buses at Zayed Sports City to take commuters to all parts of Abu Dhabi Island.
The driver can pick up their bus ticket and one each for up to three passengers when they park in a secured area, the department said.
“If you are driving towards Abu Dhabi city centre, you can park your car at a secure parking facility at the entrance of Zayed Sports City and ride the free express shuttle that stops at strategic locations within Abu Dhabi central business district,” it said.
“These tickets offer free rides on park-and-ride express buses and all public buses within Abu Dhabi Island, for the whole day as per the validity of the ticket.
“Park and Ride has allocated 600 parking spaces for motorists and parking there is absolutely free for all.”
The buses, which have Wi-Fi access, are available from 6am to 8.30pm, Sunday to Thursday. They will ease congestion on the capital’s roads and in the city’s car parks.
The initiative also seeks to greatly reduce the amount of pollution and environmental damage caused by the vast number of cars on Abu Dhabi city roads.
Bus routes from Zayed Sports City take in Al Safarat roundabout, Dhafeer Street, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Street, Delma Street and Hamdan Street through the Corniche.
The department said the initiative was part of its transport masterplan.
Lalan Purnama was one of the residents who welcomed the move.
“This is a good approach of the Government to reduce traffic congestion and serve people better, because nowadays parking is a big problem,” Mr Purnama said.
“Such services will encourage people to park and have a free ride. But I feel that it’s more beneficial for those visiting the city from suburbs or outside Abu Dhabi.
“They can park outside, take a free bus and again drive back home without any hassle.”
Another resident, Syed Rafeeq, said: “I am happy for such initiatives that will reduce the city’s traffic and parking problems.
“It will reduce the time spent in traffic and finding a parking space in congested areas of the city. It will help to lower the cost of daily travel including fuel, car maintenance and parking.”
The shuttle buses will leave every 15 minutes at peak hours, and every 30 minutes at other times.