SMS inquiries about Sharjah buses put passengers in driver's seat

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By Mariam M. Al Serkal, Staff Reporter  www.gulfnews.com

Sharjah: People planning a bus journey in Sharjah can now ascertain when their bus will arrive at a particular bus stop by sending a short message from their mobile phones.

“The ‘Rihlati’ [My Trip] service was started in mid-April and has got a huge response from passengers”, said Rabia Marzouqi, head of public transport at Sharjah Transport. This is the first service of its kind in the Middle East, based on satellite technology and GSM (global system for mobile communication). Each SMS will be charged Dh1.

“Passengers can find out the estimated time when the buses will arrive at all 527 bus stops,” said Rabia. “Commuters will not have to be outdoors for a long time,” she explained.

The mobile phone service provides passengers four options. All inquiries must be sent to the number #2272.

Text message

To know what bus lines will halt at a certain location, passengers can send a text message mentioning the bus stop number. They will receive information about when the next bus will arrive within seconds. To know the time of arrival for a specific route, passengers are required to text the bus stop number, followed by a space and route number.

For passengers waiting at the bus stop who would like to know all their available options and the times of arrival of buses, a text message mentioning the bus stop number, followed by a space, and the time will get them the needed information. The time keyed in should be in 24-hour format.

The final option is for specific bus routes and arrival times. In such cases people need to text the bus stop number, followed by a space, route number, followed by a space, and the time.

All inquiries must be sent to the number #2272

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