Usman Ghani (November 19, 2013)
Travelers of Dubai- Sharjah bus routes seem to be in great confusion due to the new policy by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), which has put an end to issuing tickets for passengers going to Sharjah.
This ambiguity of the service and lack of proper awareness of the change has created inconvenience for the customers who seem to have no knowledge of the new policy and are facing troubles planning their travel to Sharjah.
However Passengers, who are travelling from Sharjah, continue to choose from purchasing a ticket at the Al Jubail stations counters or utilizing their Nol cards.
“I went to Sharjah on Sunday using the ticket but when I came today I was surprised to see the counter closed. When asked the RTA officer said I have to buy the Nol card. It’s more surprising because I came from Sharjah in the morning using the ticket,” said Ahmad Niyaz, a Pakistani resident of Sharjah.
“I went from Al Quoz to Sharjah this morning and paid the fare at the ticket counter, though Nol cards are also accepted. While coming back from Sharjah also I paid the fare at the counter at Al Jubail bus station,” said Yousuf Mirza, an Indian who works as an electrician in Al Quoz.
Customer seem uncertain of what is going on and are hence having to compromise their experience, since all the confusion is leading to lack of planning and a waste of time, because of the commuting issue.
Some passengers have also complained of the fact that they don’t need to invest in a Nol card since it’s of no use to them and their commute to Dubai is rare and buying a Nol card would be a waste of their money.
“I hardly come to Dubai once a year. Nol is not of much use to me. I thought there is no harm in continuing with the old system. I came here paying the fare at the counter but when I want to go back I’m forced to buy the Nol card as there is no alternative,” said Mohammad Abduh from Egypt.
The RTA to its defense said they had been doing an awareness campaign to inform the customers of the service from months and this is only for the benefit of the customers since they can now have linking of intercity routes to automated fare collection system, which will guarantee a better service experience.
We started upgrading the system a couple of months ago. Just to ease people into the system, we were issuing tickets as well as the Nol cards. Now we have stopped issuing tickets to Sharjah-bound passengers and in the coming weeks we will make Nol cards mandatory both ways,” said Mohammad Yousuf Al Mudharreb, Director of Nol at RTA.
“We are setting up all the required facilities for the people and once we are ready we will make the Nol payment system mandatory on all intercity bus routes including Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain,” he added.
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