The Public Transport Agency, at Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has generalized the Unified Fare Collection System (NOL cards) in all Inter-City bus service from and to Dubai emirate. The old traditional payment system via paper tickets has been suspended in keeping with the rapid developments seen by public transport in Dubai.
Adel Mohammad Shakeri, Director of Transportation Systems, at RTA Public Transport Agency, said, “After the success of the Automated Fare Collection System in city-buses within Dubai emirate, the Agency has generalized this method of payment in all Inter-City bus trips from and to and the emirate throughout the bus stations dotting Dubai emirate and other cities in the UAE. Among the underlying objectives sought by the RTA through issuing NOL cards was to dispense with to rid the public of the paper tickets in paying public transport fares; which translates into the global concepts as conserving the environment through reducing wood consumption, the sole source of paper manufacturing.”
“The outbound public bus trips heading outside the emirate start from 8 main stations, namely: Ghubaiba, Ittihad, Satwa, Karama, Sabkha, Deira City Centre, Abu Hail, and Ibn Battuta, which serve all routes and several other destinations such as Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, and Fujairah. The Automated Fare Collection System currently in place is applicable in all routes with the exception of Abu Dhabi to Dubai route, where the paper ticket option is still in use, but will be suspended likewise shortly,” stated Shakri.
“The Inter-City public buses make 900 daily trips through 12 routes connecting Dubai with other emirates, lifting more than 35,000 passengers, whereas the seven routes connecting Dubai emirate with Sharjah carry more than 17,000 passengers a day,” he added.
It is noteworthy that Nol is a hassle-free and multi-purpose method of payment, which can be used in Dubai public buses, Inter-City buses, Dubai metro, Dubai Water Buses and parking meters. The payment is made by tapping the card on the Nol reader, where the value of the required service is deducted instantly.
It should be noted that there are three types of Nol Cards that can be used in Inter-City trips: Silver, Gold, and Personal Cards, while Nol Red Cards are unusable in Inter-City service. Nol Card has become a world-renowned payment system considering that it a unique method of payment in the region, and has ranked first as the best pre-paid e-card in the Middle East Award in the Middle East Smart Cards Awards Ceremony 2013.
Since Nol card system was launched in September 2009, more than five million cards have been issued, with more than one million transactions executed through the multi-purpose uses of the card. There are also multiple outlets for selling Nol cards all over the emirate of Dubai via Ticket booths in bus stations, TVM deployed in 81 bus stops, and Nol Card Sale Authorized Dealers such as Spinneys and Carrefour. Nol cards are also available online, and at RTA customer service centers.