By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter www.gulfnews.com
Dubai: Chewing gum is prohibited on the Dubai Metro and all other modes of public transport including buses and water buses, said a senior official.
Responding to reports about the Metro inspectors issuing fines to commuters chewing gums on board trains, Ramadan Abdullah, Director of the Metro Operations at the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), confirmed that it is not allowed to chew gum on board trains as it is prohibited by law to eat, drink and smoke on public transport.
A fine of Dh100 is slapped on commuters found violating this rule. It is included in the list of fines stipulated in the Order number 3/2009 governing the Unified Fare of Mass Transport in the Emirate of Dubai, approved by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council.
“Anybody found violating the public transport use rules will face fine for it is important to ensure comfortable travel for every passenger and protection of public transport properties and facilities,” added Abdullah.
He said chewing gum was prohibited because passengers either spit it on the floor or just stick it on the seats, doors or holding bars in the train or buses. “This action not only ruins the interior of the public transport but also requires extra measures such as use of chemicals and special cleaners to clean it,” he added.
However, he said the Metro inspectors are quite flexible with children and elderly while giving fines for eating and drinking violations.
According to the law, the fine could be as small as Dh100 for eating and drinking in the trains and the prohibited areas on stations and bus stops and it could be as high as Dh500 for offences such as destroying, damaging or tampering with devices, equipment or seats of public transport facilities and services
He said the fines are imposed to regulate the public transport service and avoid any inconvenience to commuters.
“We cannot allow passengers to damage the mass transport and its facilities including buses, trains, stations and other services,” he said.
These rules will be applicable on all modes of public transport including the metro, public buses and the water buses.
According to the rules, pets are also not allowed on the public transport including Metro, except guide dogs for the visually challenged passengers.
Carrying alcoholic drinks inside the stations or the trains is an offence while spitting, littering and any other act which contaminate or make trains or stations filthy can also get fines.
While eating and drinking (non-alcoholic drinks) is allowed at some dedicated areas including coffee shops and restaurants at the stations, smoking is completely banned on all modes of public transport.
Also, passengers found harassing, causing inconvenience or discomfort to other users of the public transport also face penalties.
Metro users are expected behave and are not allowed to rest their feet on seats as this action can also get them a fine.
Selling or advertising goods inside the trains will also be prohibited by law. Only authorised retailers have selling outlets at the stations.
Entering any prohibited areas at the station or in the trains or attempting to open the doors of the trains or buses will be considered an offence which can lead to fines and even detention.
It will be prohibited for men to enter the women’s only cabin while using the places and seats allocated for special needs will also be an offence. Anyone using the emergency exists unless there is an emergency can also be fined.