A free community bus service covering the interior areas of Abu Dhabi City was launched on Monday.
The Department of Transport and Mushrif Mall inked an agreement to start services from the mall on three routes - Sultan Bin Zayed the First Street (Muroor Road), Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Sreet (Airport Road) and Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre areas.
The hourly bus service will operate from 9am to 11pm in a 10km radius of the mall. In the first phase of the initiative, two buses will ply and later be expanded, depending on the demand for the service.
Mohammed bin Hamad Al Muhairi, Executive Director of Public Transport Sector at Integrated Transport Centre (ITC), said: "The sustainable integrated transport will help reduce the harmful impact from carbon emissions through large number of cars on the road, and help improve the quality of life."
He noted the ITC team helped the Mushrif Mall identify the routes and bus stops.
Yusuffali M.A., chairman and managing director of the LuLu Group - which runs the mall - said: "The free bus service to Mushrif Mall is an initial step to promote sustainable and eco-friendly living in Abu Dhabi. We hope the popularity of the service will prompt other malls to implement similar green initiatives."
Mushrif Mall manager Aravind Ravi said the bus service will cover villa areas that are not covered by the public transport system.
"We have lots of customers who take taxis to reach the mall. Now, those people can arrive and return to their places for free. This is the first such service to be launched in Abu Dhabi."
Ravi noted there are also plans to give discount coupons to those using the bus transport. "This is to encourage residents to leave their cars behind and use buses," he added.
The new service will be on the road from next week. The map of bus routes will be kept at the entrance of the mall.
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