RTA rules out hike in fares

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By Shafaat Ahmed (KT Exclusive)  www.khaleejtimes.com

DUBAI – While a series of fuel price increases recently — two in the past three months — have left people wondering, a senior Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) official has said the action will not have any impact on the fares charged by Dubai’s public transport
facilities.

Fuel prices shot up by 20 fils earlier this month, following a similar increase in April, impacting normal life.However, the RTA, which runs and regulates public transport services in the emirate, clarified that this will not lead to a rise in bus and taxi fares.

“Fuel price hike will not have any effect on our services, nor will it have any impact in the future as we get fuel at a subsidised rate from the government,” said the Acting CEO of the RTA’s Public Transport Agency, Mohammed Abu Baker Al Hashemi.

Following the price increase, the ‘special’ variety of petrol sells at Dh1.72 per litre, while the ‘super’ variety sells at Dh1.83. If reports are to be believed, a significant rise in diesel prices is also looming on the horizon.

ADNOC recently increased diesel prices by 25 fils a litre.

However, fares charged by public transport systems have remained stable since last year when the entire system was overhauled before the launch of the Dubai Metro.

An integrated fare collection system was launched that can be used across all modes of transport, except taxis.

“We don’t believe in changing any system constantly and our policy for fares is also similar. Though we keep reviewing and studying costumer feedback, our approach is not reactive. We follow a constructive method in running our services,” added Al Hashemi, explaining the operation policies of
the RTA.

The RTA split the entire public transport network in five zones last June and the fares, including that of Dubai Metro, range from Dh1.80 to Dh6.50 depending on the distance a person travels. The fares have remained more or less the same since then.

Not much has been changed for taxis either. “Apart from change in the minimum fare – Dh10 within Dubai and Dh20 to Sharjah and Northern Emirates — things have largely remained the same. Taxi meters still start from Dh3 as they did a decade ago,” said Al
Hashemi.

So, commuters can sit back and relax as they take public transport without worrying about the additional burden of a rise in the fares.

shafaat@khaleejtimes.com