Wednesday, October 11, 2006

On The Buses

"When two or three are gathered together they shall discuss Dubai traffic." A great favourite has always been whether or not tolls should be introduced. I have always maintained that entrance tolls to Dubai are a cynical fund-raising exercise. Without a choice of mode of travel, travellers are simply forced to pay.

So Dubai's ambitious new bus system, unveiled recently and publicised here looks like one giant step in the right direction. This is in addition to the Dubai Metro, due to open on the easily remembered 09-09-09 and rumours of a tram route along the recently refurbished Jumeira beach Road. I do hope that such public transport initiatives are extended to inter-emirate routes. How else can the private car Sharjah Schlepp be reduced?

There will always remain the problem of buses keeping to a timetabled route on a traffic-congested highway. The usual solution under these circumstances is to delineate a dedicated bus lane. But how, given normal custom and practice in the UAE, would bus lanes not be permanently blocked by queue jumpers and parked Land Cruisers? Enforcement cameras, perhaps? We all know how effective these are in preventing speeding. They'd have no more success in keeping bus lanes clear.

I am nevertheless a little concerned about a comment made by the head of Dubai's Road and Transport Authority, reported in the same article:

Commenting on the introduction of toll system [Mattar Al Tayer, head of the RTA] said the RTA is studying the feasibility of introducing the system along with other emirates and dismissed reports the idea has been shelved.

Compare this statement with one from 14th September. Why don't they talk to each other and agree on a story before blabbing to the Press?

As for me, using the bus seems like a terrific idea... except when I'm hauling several diving cylinders to the club or dive shop for filling, or when I'm doing my fortnightly shop, or when my destination is miles from a bus stop, or when I'm towing a boat, or when I'm going driving in the desert, or when I'm taking the car to be serviced...


El Casareño Ingles said...

You might count yourself lucky.

We have a bus service. Say, for instance we want to go to Malaga airport to meet a friend.

We hve to catch the morning bus at 0730 which gets to estepona at 0815 and change there for Marbella which leaves 0900 and arrives there at 0950. Then a fast connection to Malaga which leaves at 1015 and arrives at 1100 (via the motorway).

The return involves catching the midday, 1205 from Malaga airport to arrive Marbella at 1255. A bit of a wait to catch the Estepona bus at 1330 and arrives 1420. The Casares connection left at 1400, and no bus until the next day!

Taunted said...

You've gone all Reg Varny on me Mr GG

Grumpy Goat said...

"I'll get you, Butler. One of these days, I'll get you. Hurr hurr hurr!"


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