Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has placed an order for 373 buses with Volvo Bus to help improve mobility in the city.

The deal for Volvo SB3 buses, which are compliant with Euro 6 standards, is valued at AED474m ($129m).

The agreement also includes a ten-year maintenance contract.

RTA director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors Mattar Al Tayer said: “It serves RTA’s efforts to raise the share of public transport ridership to 26% by 2030.

“We firmly believe that achieving this target hinges on providing high-quality public transport services at affordable fares, expanding the geographical coverage of public transport network, and boosting the integration of mass transit modes.”

The buses are fitted with interactive touchscreens to display instant information about the journey.

In addition, buses are also equipped with Raqeeb driver behaviour monitoring system,  which uses the latest technology to monitor drivers’ fatigue signs to help make bus journeys safer.

Furthermore, the buses are equipped with Rasid automated passenger counting system to record the actual number of passengers and match it with the automated fare collection system.

Each bus can accommodate 74 passengers. From the total 373, almost 99 buses have a unique interior setting and offer more room for standing passengers and help accommodate more riders for short-distance commuting.

Al Tayer added: “These buses fall under UN Class II Vehicle classification, which allows flexibility in operating buses on inter-city routes or long hauls. Buses are compliant with ITxPT system that enables interoperability between IT systems in public transport, thanks to the availability of bus information database saved in the UAE (UAE Cloud).

“Buses have onboard driver identity electronic authentication system linked with the bus operation system. Buses have comfortable and high-safety seats, safety belts in the family section adjustable to suit all ages, and a smooth design replicating Dubai’s modernity.”

The new buses feature low-entry floor, ergonomic seats and USB charging, children-dedicated seats, and Wi-Fi service, among other facilities.