THE ROUTE OF PROGRESS
BY VICKY MCFARLANE
It’s cheap, environmentally friendly, and provides the perfect opportunity to sit back and actually read something, with the launch of the Kingdom’s new Public Transport Network, catching the bus in Bahrain might well just catch on.
Public transport is a vital component of any modern economy. When businessmen and tradesmen alike are catching the bus to work it is a sure sign of a prosperous and innovative 21st Century city – and this is the aim of Bahrain’s 2030 vision. As part of that vision the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications (MTT) are spearheading an ambitious venture to modernize and upgrade Bahrain’s national public transport service in partnership with the Bahrain Public Transport Company.
The Bahrain Public Transport Company is the new company operating bus services across the Kingdom of Bahrain, and is a joint venture partnership between Bahrain’s Ahmed Mansour Al Aali (AMA) and National Express, a UK company that brings 20 years of expertise operating similar services in North America, the UK, Spain and Morocco. The Bahrain Public Transport Company takes over from CARS Transport Company who operated the public transport service since 2003 until the completion of its contract.
The modernisation project is in full swing with a fleet of brand new red MAN buses already on the Kingdom’s roads, and the German-engineered MAN buses rival any fleet in the world for comfort, engineering and facilities. The buses feature air-conditioning, award winning low floor easy access design, high quality comfort and interior trim, facilities for wheelchair users, priority seating for women, families and those who are less mobile, surveillance cameras, on-bus infotainment, and digital destination displays in multiple languages as well as high speed internet available on board. Further major technological advances will also be implemented in the near future including smart ticketing and a new mobile app to make planning your route a breeze.
The new buses will be driven by highly trained staff and, despite the fancy upgrades, will charge the same low fares passengers are accustomed to. With the addition of 10 new routes,the buses will cover an enhanced network of 32 routes, including a dedicated airport service with special luggage features. Once fully operational, the new service will see the number of red MAN buses increase from the existing 35 to 141, with over 77% network coverage, catering to approximately 51,000 passengers on a daily basis.
As well as introducing a brand spanking new fleet of buses, the MTT, with the help of a leading UK-based engineering company, is demolishing all the old bus shelters and building new air-conditioned ones across the Kingdom. An estimated 400 bus shelters and stops throughout the Kingdom will be demolished and rebuilt, in addition to new facilities being built for the 500 extra locations that will be added to the new network.
The improvements to the Kingdom’s Public Transport Network have drastically elevated the operations so that catching the bus in Bahrain is now an extremely pleasant experience and is fast becoming the preferred choice. It sure beats traffic jams and finding a car park in Manama.
For more information on the Bahrain’s new public transport system including the expanded routes follow
#bahrainbus or #GORedBH
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