By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter www.gulfnews.com
Dubai: The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) will launch a Nol card that can be used to make credit or debit purchases, making it easier for commuters to use one card for all their shopping needs and paying fares on various modes of public transport.
“The commuters will be able to use the co-branded card which will jointly be introduced by the RTA in cooperation with some selected banks to pay for their travel on public transport in addition to paying for their shopping and utilities, using it just like any other credit or debit card,” said Abdullah Al Madani, chief executive officer of the RTA’s Corporate Technical Support Service Centre.
He said the new card would help reduce “plastic” in people’s wallets because of its multi-functionality.
Al Madani told a press conference at the RTA headquarters yesterday that the RTA’s Combi-card would be the first debit or credit card in the market to have all the features of the existing Nol Cards, which were launched on September 9 to make it convenient to use public transport.
He said the new card will not replace the existing prepaid travel Nol cards. “It will be an additional option for commuters who qualify to get credit cards from banks,” he added.
Al Madani said that commuters would also be able to use combi-cards to pay for their car parking and, at a later stage, to even pay their taxi fares. They will also be able to use it to pay for private parking slots on the Palm Jumeirah Mono Rail.
The new card, he said, would also offer loyalty points which the holders will be able to redeem by getting free rides on public transport or other selected offers. He called on banks involved in retail banking to contact the RTA if they are interested in launching the new card in coordination with the RTA.
“We will award the contract to selected banks after bidding in July this year but will try to launch the card by the end of this year,” Al Madani said.
Mohammad Al Mudharreb, director of Automated Fare Collection at the RTA, said that the new card would be personalised card just like the Nol Blue Card but it would work just like a credit or debit card as commuters would not have to worry about enough Nol credits to pay for their fares because it would replenish the balance on their Nol card chip automatically.
He said that more than two million Nol cards had been sold since the launching of the Metro on 9/9/9 until this month.
“We have recorded an average of 3.7 million transactions ever month for Dubai Metro while 14 million transactions have been recorded for bus fares and 30,000 for water buses. Around 134,000 parking tickets are purchased every month in Dubai. In total, we have recorded 113 million transactions from commuters since September 9.”
The RTA, currently, offers four types of Nol Cards including the Nol Silver Card for economy class, Nol Red Card (good for single journeys), Nol Gold Card for travel in the gold class (VIP) compartment of the Metro and Nol Blue Card, a personalised card with photo.
- The card will have personal details of the uses including name and photo.
- It can be used for online services while SMS and email notifications send to keep the users updated.
- It will have balance protection facility (in case of loss/damage of card)
- It can be used as monthly pass
- It will have feature to offer approved fare discounts to students, senior citizens and special needs people.
- It will offer rewards under loyalty programme
- It can have facilities of auto reload and top up
- Commuters will have to apply for the card just like any other credit/debit card