Swaidan to supply buses in Dh1.9bn deal

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    Hundreds of buses that will run on the Dubai Metro’s feeder network are to supplied by Dutch company VDL in a deal worth Dh1.9 billion including maintanence fees.

    The 518 Citea buses ordered by the Roads and Transport Authority will cost Dh845.7 million and an eight-year service and maintenance agreement with Swaidan Trading Company, VDL’s UAE agent, is worth Dh1.05bn.

    Swaidan won the bus and service order through an open tender involving five other major global bus manufacturers. The buses will start arriving in batches from next July and the entire fleet will be delivered by April 2010. The Metro is scheduled to start operations on September 9 and the buses will be deployed on 41 feeder routes serving 29 metro stations.

    “Purchasing these new buses is part of a comprehensive strategic plan developed by the RTA to upgrade mass transport in Dubai and attract new commuters in an effort to reduce traffic congestion,” said Mattar Al Tayer, the authority’s Chairman and Executive Director.

    “The RTA put out a tender to procure 518 buses and several leading international companies took part. Following a review of the offers submitted in terms of design, efficiency, expertise and goodwill, the contract was awarded to Swaidan Trading Company.”

    Citea buses are used in many cities around the world. Each vehicle is 12 metres long and can carry 68 commuters.

    Tayer said drivers would undergo training and obtain a special licence for the high-tech buses and all the electronic equipment on board would be rigorously tested. “The RTA is seeking to boost the share of mass transport to up to 30 per cent of trips made in the emirate by providing alternatives to private vehicles with high quality, reasonable cost and wide geographic coverage. This effort will be assisted by spreading awareness of mass public transport and fostering integration between various systems such as public buses, the Dubai Metro and Marine Transport.”

    He added the buses’ advanced technological features would attract large number of commuters. The buses will have the latest passenger information systems, air-conditioning, real-time vehicle monitoring equipment and automated fare collection systems.

    Swaidan Trading is a subsidiary of Al Naboodah Commercial Group.