Double-check your NOL swipe as you check-in on Dubai buses

Divya, an Indian resident of Dubai was not aware of any wrongdoing, when she used her NOL card to pay for her bus trip. She even swiped her card twice; as she had not heard the confirming 'beep' that she was expecting to hear when she tried to check in the first time.

But the second swipe checked her right out, as the first attempt had actually succeeded. Bad luck did the rest; five minutes later a team of inspectors entered the bus, and she was fined for riding the bus without paying.

Other than checking in to Dubai metro, there is no gate that opens when swiping the NOL card in a Dubai bus. Here, the focus should be on the screen, which tells you whether you checked in or out, and how much is charged for the bus ride.

But not all passengers have adjusted to the system. Sometimes, the bus is loaded to the extent that positioning in front of the check-in screen is hardly possible and it needs to be reached from a far corner. Or, the flow of passengers aiming to reach out to the same screen makes that a proper look at the information given cannot be made.

But according to Adel Shakeri, Director of the Transportation System Department of the Road and Transport Authority the system is clear enough.

"There are three signs indicating that you have checked in or out.

There is the information on the screen, telling you that you checked in or out, and how much you were charged. There is a sound that indicates that you have swiped the card. And in case you missed all of this, you can always check the light, which shows a different color for checking in (green) and checking out (red).

"There may be some people who make mistakes when checking in or out.

But I believe there are also people claiming not to know that they have made a mistake , because they might want to have a free bus ride," he said.

When inspectors come across a passenger who is not checked in, this passenger is fined.

Fines for non-payment for public transportation in Dubai are Dh200. It can be attested by calling 8009090.

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