I have actually taken a bus in Dubai! Despite the incredibly cheap price of taxis I decided one day to jump on the local bus to the Mall of the Emirates.
As I flung myself down into the first available seat I noticed the man sitting behind me jump up and move away. I did not realise that I had erred by sitting outside the women’s only section, which was full (of women!) I didn’t notice the front was populated by women when I chose my seat.
Afterwards my husband said to me, “You took the bus! Did you sit in the women’s section?’
‘Ahhhh,’ said I, as the pennies fell into place. ‘That’s why that guy jumped up and ran down the back. I thought he’d just changed his mind about where he wanted to sit.’
I know. I can be a little dim sometimes.
Today an announcement was made that women only buses will start running on various routes within Dubai. The following article was published in the Gulf News.
If you take a look at the feedback on this initiative it seems to be overwhelmingly positive. Particularly in the light that some women are waiting a long time for buses because all 12 seats allocated to women are full.
Regular Buses have only the first 4 seats reserved for women. The new buses will effectively increase the seats available to women travellers.
Women-only public bus service to be launched in Dubai on April 10
By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter
Published: April 06, 2009, 12:34
Dubai: After pink taxis and air conditioned bus shelters, Dubai will also become the first city in the region to introduce buses for female passengers.
“The ladies-only bus service will start on April 10 to accommodate the increasing number of female passengers,” said Mohammad Abu Bakr Al Hashimi, director of Planning and Business Development at the Public Transport Agency of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
He said seven buses would operate on one route from Muhaisnah (near Lulu Village) to Satwa via Muraqqabat Road, Deira City Centre, Karama and World Trade Centre Interchange.
The bus service will be available from 6.30 to 9am and from 4 to 8pm. Operational times will be increased subsequently.
“We will introduce more buses and more routes after studying the response on this one route,” Al Hashimi told Gulf News.
He said that the current interval between buses was 30 minutes but added that the RTA would increase bus services by reducing the intervals to between 15 to 20 minutes as demand rose. He said that the buses would be normal RTA buses showing a sign displaying ‘women only’. The ladies-only route has been named ‘L55’.
He added that they would start with male drivers but introduce female drivers if the service proved a hit.
Do you think this is a good initiative? Would this encourage women to use the bus?
I’ve been waiting for this kind of service. This is truly convenient for us because we dont have to compete with the men and there are ample seats for ladies. Cha Karama,UAE Posted: April 07, 2009, 10:44
Yes, thats right, this serviecs will encourage ladies to use the buses, and this is a very good initiative, and will get positive respose too, i appreciate RTA services. M. Alibapu Abu Dhabi,UAE Posted: April 07, 2009, 10:40
Great idea! I am taking public transportation every day and it’s really difficult for us beacause there are only 12 seats allocated for women. Definitely this idea will succeed and please include Gold Souq-Dubai Marina bound as we are facing problem there every day. Vilma Dubai,UAE Posted: April 07, 2009, 10:38
This is a good initiative. In addition to the safety, it adds less pollution. More buses and routes need to be added. Jisha Majeed Bangalore,India Posted: April 07, 2009, 10:37
Oh yes, its a very good move…please start ladies buses on Bur Dubai-Karama route too as there are lots of females travellers. Gazala Dubai,UAE Posted: April 07, 2009, 10:28
This bus service will be a great help to women passengers since there are only 12 seats for us in the ordinary buses. hence it will be great relief for women. excellent idea! Aurbee Dubai,UAE Posted: April 07, 2009, 10:28
The new service always welcome I have a suggession that this service will be through express route. Because one lady travelling from Satwa to Quasis take too much time reach destination. Suresh Dubai,UAE Posted: April 07, 2009, 10:27
Kudos to RTA! Just wondering, who will drive these new buses? Erwin Dubai,UAE Posted: April 07, 2009, 10:27
Its really a great news for all ladies!!! something esply for us. it’ll be a hit. Rasheeda Dubai,UAE Posted: April 07, 2009, 10:21
At long last the RTA makes a good decision for the female commuters, hope they will add more. Lucy Dubai,UAE Posted: April 07, 2009, 10:21
Hi, I think this is a good move by RTA. Hanz Dubai,UAE Posted: April 07, 2009, 10:06
The decision is good but i don’t think a double ducker bus is required for this purpose. Small mini bus or ordinary bus is sufficient. Satheesh Vasudevan Ajman,UAE Posted: April 07, 2009, 09:44
Indeed, this is a good initiative, as there are limited seats for the ladies and ladies are not allowed to stand which cause them delayed to work or any other appointments and this will avoid any incidents that might happen if ladies will be mixed with gents. Kristina Dubai,UAE Posted: April 07, 2009, 09:39
With pleasure all lady passengers will welcome this step. It will save their time what they are spending in bus stops. Even men passengers will also be beneficiaries, because most of the time they won’t be allowed to enter into bus as bus drivers give preference to ladies. Roshini Samson Dubai,UAE Posted: April 07, 2009, 09:35
This is great news! finally women can be absolutely sure that they get seats and space in a bus. and dont have to share with men who some are unruly and not gentlemen! Good work RTA! lets have more of these buses in the future! Nikita Dubai,UAE Posted: April 07, 2009, 09:35
An excellent initiative. Perhaps the number of buses used and routes should be increased at peak times. It is known that buses during the rush peak periods are crowded and bus drivers do not stop many times for the women passengers as the allocated seating for women is very limited. C. S. Sagoo DUBAI,UAE Posted: April 07, 2009, 09:30
This is a great move by the RTA, especially when women were denied boarding the buses due to lack of seats. Hopefully, this will help the women travellers. Siddharthi Dubai,UAE Posted: April 07, 2009, 09:26
I am really happy that the LADIES bus service is going to start it will be so nice for all the women who have suffered trying to get into the crowded buses. Keep it up Dubai. Cheryl Gonsalves Dubai,UAE Posted: April 07, 2009, 09:17
Since I am a bus commuter, that is an excellent idea. It will help to lessen the time for waiting, maybe from 2hrs of waiting will lesser to 1 hr..hope so….goodluck.. Juvy Hugo Dubai,UAE Posted: April 07, 2009, 09:17
It’s a good intiative by RTA, like female taxi drivers, they must have female bus drivers as well. Bilal Dubai,UAE Posted: April 07, 2009, 09:12
Yes, thank you very much. As it I am happy with the pink taxi Malini Dubai,UAE Posted: April 07, 2009, 09:10
Absolutely yes.I am a regular passenger of bus.Because of less seat availability for ladies we are forced to wait in the bus stop very late.My duty is finishing at 7pm but i am still in the bus stop even pass 8.30pm. Its very good step. I am sure there will be more more ladies passengers and RTA will increase the services. Thanks to Dubai RTA. Remya Vivek Karama,Dubai Posted: April 07, 2009, 09:09
Definitely, introducing the ladies-only bus service is a great initiative. It would undoubtedly encourage women to use the bus especially now as taxi fares have gone up. The frequency, routes and number of buses have to be increased soon as demand will surely rise. Naina Nair Sharjah,UAE Posted: April 07, 2009, 09:09
Thank you so much for saving our lifes. You don’t know how good you have done. Please we require one also from Sharjah -Dubai -Sharjah. From A Reader Sharjah,UAE Posted: April 07, 2009, 09:03
I would say, WAY TO GO RTA! Women will not be pushed around by the male crowd. Joey Dubai,UAE Posted: April 07, 2009, 09:02
This is discrimination. This is the most unfair, non-logical, irrational thing to do. I don’t understand why and how are going the men standin the street feeling about such discrimination. Thanks, Adham Azam Abu Dhabi,UAE Posted: April 07, 2009, 09:01
This idea is highly appreciated and more comfortable. For an employee like me later night travelling can be made so ease with this facility. But it should be on more routes and the timings can also be incereased soon. Dinu Rajesh Dubai,UAE