Increase in bus fares reduces ridership in Abu Dhabi



ABU DHABI // The number of journeys on Abu Dhabi’s buses has fallen by 14 million since city fares were doubled two years ago.

Transport chiefs said on Tuesday they had expected a fall, but not so large, and promised to invest the revenue from increased fares to win back the lost passengers.

The drop in passenger numbers came despite the addition of 15 routes to the bus network and an increase in the number of peak-time buses by 32.

Fares in the city were doubled to Dh2 in November 2012, and rose on a per-kilometre basis on regional and intercity services.

“This really points out a demographic issue, which is that buses now tend to be used by residents who cannot afford either cars or taxis,” said Glenn Havinoviski, a transport expert in Abu Dhabi.

“By the standards of most cities around the world, Abu Dhabi’s fares remain very low, and probably not nearly enough to cover the cost of operations.”

For public transport to prosper, the services offered should be affordable, reliable and convenient, said Thomas Edelmann, founder of the website Road Safety UAE. More info