Video: Golf buggy shuttle from Dubai Metro saves 50% cab fare for JLT users

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Residents of Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT), travelling between the JLT's Marina Metro station and clusters near Lake D can now avail of a unique shuttle service – golf buggies.

Currently, Valtrans Transportation Systems & Services, a Dubai-based transportation solutions company, is utilising two buggies to cater to the needs of JLT residents, trying to gauge the appetite of the community before expanding the service to other clusters.

“The buggies (golf carts) are a service introduced by us in June earlier this year. Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) has entered into an agreement to allow us the use of the master community property to run this service,” Haresh Rupani, Regional Manager – Marketing, Valtrans, told Emirates 24|7.

While commuters now do not have to wait in queue for a taxi or worry about the route a shuttle bus takes passing their apartment block, the biggest impact is likely to be a big savings on taxi fares.

As of now, the minimum one pays for a taxi is Dh10 per trip. Residents, taking a cab morning and evening, from Cluster D to the Metro stations in JLT pay Dh20 per day or Dh440 a month (excluding Friday and Saturday).

The eco-friendly golf buggies are charging Dh5 per trip, which adds up to Dh220 per month, a 50 per cent saving on regular cab fare.

A golf cart service membership will soon be available and members will be charged Dh4 per day (i.e. Dh2 per trip) or Dh88 per month.

Initially, the service was free for some 20 days, but Valtrans introduced a fee of Dh5 ride from September 1, onwards.

The service is provided in two shifts (morning and afternoon) from Sunday to Thursday.

The carts shuttle every two to three minutes during peak times.

Asked about the community response, Rupani says: “We have had excellent feedback during our initial survey and free trial.

“As of now, the services are operated for two to three hours in both the shifts. However, as the demand has seen a steady growth, we intend to increase the duration of the shifts to ensure maximum benefits to the members of the JLT community.”

Kamel Hamadeh, General Service Manager, Valtrans, adds: “It is more of the office goers using our transport service. They have become members as it is affordable with they paying only Dh2 per trip.”

Joanna Francis, a resident of cluster W, a frequent user of the service, says: “I used to take a cab in the morning to the station and in the evening walk back to my apartment. Now I have been taking the golf cart to the station, which has saved me a lot on cab fares.”

She adds: “The only issue is that in the evenings I have to wait a bit too long for the carts to arrive at the Metro station. Otherwise, I have no complaints at all.”
 

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