Sharjah - Photos: New Sharjah-Ajman electric bus service launched

Sharjah - Photos: New Sharjah-Ajman electric bus service launched
Sharjah - Photos: New Sharjah-Ajman electric bus service launched

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Equipped with state-of-the-art safety features.

The Sharjah Roads and Transport Authority (SRTA) on Wednesday launched its first electric bus which will ply between Sharjah and Ajman. The e-bus will undergo a six-month trial period, before similar buses are added to SRTA's fleet, authorities said.

It has a capacity for 27 people sitting and enough safe space to accommodate 30 people standing, as well as places for the elderly. The bus route has been earmarked from Al Jubail station in Sharjah to Al Musalla station in the emirate of Ajman.

Yousef Saleh Al Suwaiji, chairman of SRTA, pointed out that the first electric bus in the emirate is being operated and subjected to initial tests, following an agreement with Reliance Motors, the authorised agent of the China Shangan Bus.

He added the rapid developments and changes brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution force the authority to keep pace with the giants leaps in the transport sector and cope with the population growth. "The growing traffic density obligates us to find alternative and environmental solutions when developing the transport infrastructure," Al Suwaiji pointed out.

Al Suwaiji said that operating the e-bus today is one of the most important initiatives of the authority as it is the launching point for the fleet's electrical transformation to boost clean energy. This is in line with the prudent leadership initiatives towards the transition into green economy and sustainable development, he underlined. "SRTA is making efforts to adopt sustainable innovations in transportation, which contribute to achieving sustainability."

Abdulaziz Al Jarwan, director of Transportation Affairs in SRTA, explained that the electric bus is a qualitative shift in transportation in the emirate. "The project is as an ambitious step to enhance the idea of sustainable transportation, as one of the main ways to embrace eco-friendly transportation systems and reduce carbon emissions from conventional fuels."

He added that the e-bus has standard specifications that are in line with the nature and airspace of the country, so that it is able to withstand weather conditions, high temperatures and humidity throughout the year. "The project represents fundamental challenges to the performance and efficiency of electric vehicles everywhere."

Al Jarwan added that all the safety and security components are available on the bus as per international standards. It's equipped with rechargeable batteries, and each battery can travel 200km before being recharged again. The bus cannot be operated if the battery's safety cover is open, or the bus doors are not properly closed. The driver sitting in a firm and correct way is considered to be one of the most important safety and security features in the bus.

Drivers of the vehicle are trained to sit in a particular way, and if a passenger sits in the driver's seat, it will not move. Al Jarwan said that qualified, trained and skilled drivers will operate the bus on a shift basis.

He pointed out SRTA currently operates 750 hybrid taxis powered by electricity and gasoline, which help reduce pollutants.

Afkar Abdullah

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