Card system a boost for public transit in Abu Dhabi.



ABU DHABI // Bus travel in Abu Dhabi will soon become easier through a new automated fare collection system.

The new system is called Hafilat, meaning buses in Arabic.

Currently, there are three ticket vending machines inside the bus terminal adjacent to Al Wahda Mall.

The machines will sell and top up the cards with payment by cash or credit card. The message on the machines read: “Soon. Get ready for the launch of the most advanced Abu Dhabi bus card system.”

Last December, the Department of Transport (DoT) announced that the system would be launched this year, although it did not provide a timeline. This month, the authority said it was still testing the system.

The objectives for testing and the internal simulation of the system’s operations are “to reach the highest degree of precision in operations management, distribution and sales to achieve the desired goals of this project” and “to switch from the traditional payment methods to smart payment methods”, it said.

The DoT said it planned to install up to 70 ticket vending machines at all bus stations in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and the Western Region, near AC bus shelters, and in shopping malls.

Five machines called “swift reloaders”, which allow commuters to simply charge their Hafilat cards, have so far been installed inside the Al Wahda bus terminal. The DoT will install up to 300 of the machines in all bus stations in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and the Western Region, customer service centres, AC bus shelters, airports and hospitals. These machines only accept bank notes and do not provide change unlike the ticket vending machines. More info