Demand for Improved Public Transport Services in the UAE: A Contingent Valuation Study in Dubai

  •  Genanew Worku    


Service quality, being an integral part of urban growth, has been a subject of interest to city transport planners.
The provision of better quality public transport service is a challenge in the United Arab Emirates, as this country
strives to meet the transport requirements fundamental to sustain the investment and economic as well as urban
population growth exhibited over the last few years. United Arab Emirates government intervention strategies
include increasing share of public transportation and decreasing transport by private vehicles through bettering
bus service delivery. Such shift of demand for public service requires not only understanding of people's
willingness to use and pay for improved public transport services but also market incentives to pull-down
personal vehicle ownership demand into public transport services. This study examines the willingness of United
Arab Emirates residents to use and pay for improved public transport services. A contingent valuation survey is
conducted on 852 representative sample of cross section of United Arab Emirates residents. Probit and Ordered
logit models are used to analyze the survey data. The study has generated results with significant ramifications
for policy. It suggests that there is the knowledge that residents, in general, are willing to use and pay higher fees
for using public bus provided its service quality is improved. This has to provide reassurance to the Roads and
Transport Authority who may be interested about the potential demand for improved public bus service. In order
for the United Arab Emirates Government to increase the share of public transportation and decrease transport by
private vehicles, effort will have to continue to improve the public bus service quality. In particular, marketing of
such improved service will have to consider the residents' socioeconomic and demographic as well as some
travel attributes.

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