Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Three strikes and you're out

How hard is it to let your customers know when you change something?

Nanny Goat is in Dubai once again, and this time she declared her interest in availing Dubai Metro - until stocks last. So the Goat dropped into a Metro station a couple of days in advance to obtain a Nol card. It’s not possible to do this except by travelling to a station. Being able to buy a card when boarding a bus is too technologically demanding, it would seem.

And so we waited at the bus stop. And waited. And waited.

And then the Goat called the RTA, only to be told that bus route F4 – Mirdif West to Rashidiya – was cancelled at the end of August. In order to catch a feeder bus, the Goat and his frail, elderly, grey-bearded Nanny Goat, would have to walk to a bus stop on the F3 route.

Apparently the route changes were mentioned in the Gulf News (which the Goat doesn’t read every day) and publicised on the RTA’s website (in some obscure corner of the interwebs that the Goat can’t locate). Do passengers really have to check on-line every time they plan to use public transport?

How hard would it have been, when removing the timetable from the bus stop near the Crumbling Villa, to insert a notice to the effect that F4 was cancelled and F3 or F10 would have to be used? How about covering up the Bus Stop signs? The RTA hasn’t even turned off the bus stop lights, and the F4 stop nearest to Welcare Mirdif still has its air conditioning working for the benefit of the RTA’s non-existent bus passengers, awaiting the non-arrival of the non-existent F4 bus.

Thinking about it, feeder route F3 could just have been diverted around the old F4 route, but that also seems too difficult.

The Goats did eventually get to board a Metro train, two hours after originally arriving at a bus stop, and yes, the Metro was clean and efficient.

And returning home involved a long walk from the nearest bus stop, across a busy dual carriageway. The distance might be OK in November, but is likely to be quite nasty in August.

This is the third time the Goat has tried to use Dubai’s public transport system, and the third time the process has been fraught with difficulties. Small wonder he prefers to drive.



Gerry said...

the uae does have a way of making conveniences inconvenient. another great example of this is the "streamlined" process for getting an emirates id card.

although the gov't already has all the information it needs to issue these cards--visa number, fingerprints, eye scans, etc--they still set up a large number of widely spaced hoops for those who wish to comply with the law.

Susan said...

Dangerous day for Goats today! Keep yer head down Mr GG!!

Gnomad said...

Grumpy Goat prefers to drive because he is an inveterate petrol head.

Difficulties with public transport merely confirm his already proven preferences.



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