Sharjah buses gaining popularity


By Ahmed Shaaban

SHARJAH — As Sharjah Transport keeps developing its network offering well-timed schedules, more commuters, particularly in the Eastern and Central regions, have been opting for public shuttle service.

According to a senior official, Sharjah Transport commuted 15,376 passengers in the first three months of the year. “This is basically due to the steady and punctual bus schedules in all stops and stations,” said Yusuf Hammadi, Manager of Sharjah Transport Office in the Eastern and Central regions.

Explaining, Hammadi said bus No119, which connects the cities of the Eastern coast — Khor Fakkan, Dibba Al Hisn and Kalbaa — ran 1,232 trips and attracted 1,198 more commuters this year.

“As many as 8,355 passengers were transported from January to March in 2011 as compared to 7,157 over the same period in 2010.” Running 873 trips in quarter one this year, bus No120, which connects the cities of the Central region — Al Dhaid, Al Madam and Al Meliha — attracted 7,021 passengers.” Sharjah Transport ran 65,300 bus trips to commute 1,387,000 passengers from across the emirate in the first quarter of the year. The corporation is now operating a big fleet of 224 public buses on the 21 city and intercity routes. “The buses in service are up to international standards in terms of safety and convenience; they are all fully air-conditioned, with TV screens and separate sections for families, ladies and special needs commuters,” he said.

While Sharjah taxis ran 68,749 trips in the first quarter of the year in the Eastern and Central regions, a significant drop in the number of illegal taxis was noticed there. “Only 34 tickets were issued in the first quarter of the year compared to 51 over the same in 2010,” he said, adding that his office “has further issued 27 temporary and 34 permanent transport permits.”

Calling for suggestions, Hammadi said Sharjah Transport may be reached at 00067000. “The office, this year so far, has received 13 complaints,

48 quality violations, as well as eight reports on lost items which were mostly returned to their owners.”