Sunday, June 24, 2012

Uncomfortable seating causes public bus users discomfort

Uncomfortable seating causes public bus users discomfort 
No air conditioning a turn-off for bus users during cross-emirate trips

By Ramesh Menon, Gulf News reader, Published: June 24, 2012

Image Credit: Ramesh Menon/Gulf News Reader
While traveling from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, Ramesh Menon found his journey enjoyable as the newer bus was comfortable and offered a smooth ride.

In order to go to Dubai from Abu Dhabi one Friday morning, I decided to use the bus instead of driving, as I thought - why drive unnecessarily when there is an efficient bus system in place?

I went to the main bus station and was told by the security personnel to go inside the station to collect a ticket.

Inside, I approached a staff member to purchase a ticket and handed him a Dh100 note. He told me he had no change, but after waiting there for a few minutes and after a few other passengers had purchased tickets, I was able to get mine.

I walked back to the bus, which was one of the latest models and was ready and waiting. After a 10-minute wait, the journey started.

The bus was comfortable, the air-conditioner worked properly and the journey was smooth. I dozed off automatically, as I relaxed.

For the price of Dh15, I had the safest and most comfortable journey I could ever take to reach Dubai from Abu Dhabi.

>Image Credit: Gulf News archive
Menon's trip back to Abu Dhabi was a lot less comfortable as the older bus' air conditioning and seating were not up to par.

However, on my return trip, upon reaching the Bur Dubai bus station, I found the queue for the bus comparatively large. I found the ticket station and collected my ticket, but realised it was neither the same type of bus nor the same ticket price.

The bus was older and the charge from Dubai to Abu Dhabi was Dh25.

It was relatively noisy all the way to Abu Dhabi and the air conditioner was not at all proper. Rather, it was not there at all.

Added to all that, the seats were not at all comfortable and the two-hour journey back was really cumbersome.

By the time I reached Abu Dhabi, I was really tired, sweaty and exhausted.

While I commend this service provided to the general public and praise its efficiency, I humbly request the authorities check that the air conditioning system in each bus is in good condition.

Also, all buses should be fitted with comfortable seats, especially those taking passengers on a two-hour journey or longer. They could also set one price of Dh15 for the trip from Abu Dhabi to Dubai and back.
I am sure if these changes are implemented, more of the general public will show interest in using the bus services to travel between the emirates.

The reader is a technical officer based in Abu Dhabi.

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To read it in original, please visit GULF NEWS online.

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