Give me (cooler) shelter: residents complain of defective Abu Dhabi bus stops

ABU DHABI // Defective doors and malfunctioning air conditioning in bus shelters across the city have still not been fixed, despite the arrival of the summer heat. An investigation by The National found that the AC systems at about half of 50 bus shelters around the capital were not working, while others had poor cooling […]

ABU DHABI // Defective doors and malfunctioning air conditioning in bus shelters across the city have still not been fixed, despite the arrival of the summer heat.

An investigation by The National found that the AC systems at about half of 50 bus shelters around the capital were not working, while others had poor cooling because the doors would not close properly.

At many bus stops, commuters are forced to stand outside in the heat while waiting for their buses.

Dixon Ahabwae, from Uganda, who was standing behind the bus shelter on Al Falah Street, was sweating profusely.

“If the service is going to fixed it will be a great service to the people who take the bus in such hot weather,” he said.

Even where the AC was working, he said, the “sun’s rays directly come in through the glass, which spoils the cooling effect”.

Mr Ahabwae hoped authorities would put some tinting on the glass to reduce the glare.

Of the 22 air-conditioned shelters on Muroor Road on the week of our checks, 12 did not have working AC and the doors were open.

On Airport Road, six of the shelters’ AC systems were not working, while there were four faulty AC units at stops on Al ­Falah Street.

Some of the bus shelters had also been locked for more than a year, despite being finished. These include Al Nahyan and Abu Dhabi Post Office bus stops on Muroor Road and Al Manhal bus stop in front of Khalidiyah Mall.

Mohammed Ibrahi, an Indian, was standing in a bus shelter on Al Falah Street but the AC was not working.

He said: “It’s better to stand inside because the direct sun is unbearable.”

He wondered what would happen in Ramadan, which starts next month.

“I am concerned about Ramadan but determined to complete all fasting whatever the condition is. But I hope it would be repaired before that.”

In December 2012, the Department of Transport announced it would open 360 air conditioned shelters in Abu Dhabi by the start of 2014 at a cost of Dh100 million.

But it appears that fewer than 100 were opened and many are not working.

Karuna Wati, a Sri Lankan woman, sat inside the bus shelter without AC at the Zayed City Amiri Guard bus stop on ­Muroor Road.

“It was better to stand inside. Every stop is like that. Sometimes I have to wait for 20 to 30 minutes,” Ms Wati said.

Pakistani Ehsanul Haque, at a Muroor Road bus shelter, said: “This time we can’t bear the heat, so what will happen from next month? Real summer is yet to start.”

He said he had found working AC at some bus stops in the city.

“It’s great respite for us if it’s working properly,” Mr Haque said.

A Filipina who was waiting for a bus on Airport Road, who did not want to be named, said: “We commute by public bus every day but we have to face the heat even when there is AC. It just needs to be fixed.”

The Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport did not ­reply to our questions.

anwar@thenational.ae

Source: uae news

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