Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bus lane

At long, long last, Dubai has adopted a tried and tested technological breakthrough: the Bus Lane. No longer will buses be trapped in traffic, unable to keep to their allotted timetables. They and their passengers will sail gleefully past the congestion. Until they reach the end of the marked bus lane...and then what?

Why this solution to urban public transport wasn’t introduced to Dubai decades ago remains a mystery. Perhaps the reluctance of the authorities to adopt it is directly related to the difficulty in keeping certain brands of non-bus from regarding themselves as ‘special’. The solution adopted by Dubai was to put the bus lanes on dedicated flyovers or in tunnels, chain half a dozen buses together, paint them blue, and stick them on rails. Alas, the cost of providing this sort of bus lane along every bus route is prohibitive. Hence the use of the new secret weapon: Yellow Paint.

For now a strip of yellow paint will offer an impenetrable barrier to private motorists who have a secret desire to be bus drivers. Backed up by the threat of a Dh600 fine, it’s only a matter of time before we learn whether the yellow paint will pay for itself. Assuming of course that the violators regard bus lane abuse with the same disdain as any and all other traffic violations. Perhaps the solution is to stick a cow-catcher on the front of each bus: a snowplough-like device that sweeps the offending Land Cruiser aside.

In addition to buses and taxis, I believe that use of these lanes should be permitted for bicycles and motorbikes. It's been tried successfully elsewhere (Bristol, UK for one). That's me being biased, of course. And why not? It keeps the bikes from lane-splitting, which they would do otherwise.

The Gulf News article includes several photographs of buses and taxis mysteriously not using their dedicated lane. Is this because the drivers fear being fined, or is it because there’s a Gulf News photographer standing in the road?

Now, about a bus lane between Sharjah and Dubai...?


1 comment:

Seabee said...

The idea is right but the execution is going to be the problem - and people ignoring the rules anyway.

Stretches of 200 and 300 metres, as we will have, will simply add to the chaos with vehicles having to switch lanes.


The opinions expressed in this weblog are the works of the Grumpy Goat, and are not necessarily the opinions shared by any person or organisation who may be referenced. Come to that, the opinions may not even be those of the Grumpy Goat, who could just be playing Devil's Advocate. Some posts may be of parody or satyrical [sic] nature. Nothing herein should be taken too seriously. The Grumpy Goat would prefer that offensive language or opinions not be posted in the comments. Offensive comments may be subject to deletion at the Grumpy Goat's sole discretion. The Grumpy Goat is not responsible for the content of other blogs or websites that are linked from this weblog. No goats were harmed in the making of this blog. Any resemblance to individuals or organisations mentioned herein and those that actually exist may or may not be intentional. May contain nuts.