Today I took the bus to work because our car had to be sent to the service center for regular maintenance check. I got the bus in less than 5 minutes after arriving at the bus station, a short walk from our apartment. That’s so different from what the situation was almost 3 years ago when we first came to Dubai. In 2007, we’re lucky if the bus comes within 20-30 minutes of waiting.
What’s more interesting? There was NO ONE on my morning bus, except me and the bus driver*.
Gone are the days of crying over Dubai’s public transport nightmare. I can’t count the number of times I’ve cried and broke down when I was still taking the bus regularly three years ago (when we didn’t have car yet), the elbowing of the crowd fighting for a seat in the bus, witnessing the driver fight with the men who slams the bus doors asking to be taken in, standing for hours inside the poorly airconditioned crowded vehicle while the driver wades through horrible Dubai traffic…
The smell during summer.
All of it are gone now. In case you were wondering why the bus was empty, no there’s no exodus something like, expats fleeing in the middle of Dubai’s financial crisis. Simply, the number of buses have more than doubled, with the government providing new, clean and properly airconditioned buses that come in 10 minutes intervals (well, mostly!). Expatriates who’ll come to Dubai now are one lucky bunch. They don’t have to endure what everyone went through in the not so distant past – during the great construction and population rush.
* My bus was empty from where I got in until I got down because there was another bus of the same route number running ahead of us.