In what is a promising first for Dubai‘s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), three female bus drivers have been deployed on the city’s internal bus network. Having begun work on July 3, the new drivers formed part of an initiative by the RTA to better job opportunities for women in an otherwise male-dominated field. Taking to Twitter, the independent government authority posted their announcement alongside a press release by the city’s Media Office.
“RTA Dubai recruits the first batch of three female bus drivers,” the tweet reads. The first of it’s kind in the region, the initiative aims to add onto an already expanding network of female RTA employees, who are currently employed as taxi drivers, limo chauffeurs, and school bus drivers; albeit a discrepancy between men and women in each category is currently significant. “This initiative goes with the best global practices of employing female drivers likewise their male counterparts,” said Ahmed Hashim Bahrozyan, CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency. “The step creates job opportunities for women in a field dominated by men and promotes the culture of using public transport in the community thus contributing to the delivery of better services to clients.”
Noted as the “initial stage of the project,” so far, the female drivers have been deployed on three important routes; the Circular Route, linking Baniyas, Deira City Centre, T1 and T3; the F36 Route, linking Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Science Park and Al Barsha South, and the F70 Route, linking Burjuman, Bur Dubai, and Al Fahidi. “RTA is always keen to continue its pioneering efforts, and this initiative of employing female bus drivers is unprecedented in the Middle East region and is a great addition to this record,” Bahrozyan says of the initiative. “The step is also compatible with RTA’s principle of empowering women and achieving gender balance across various jobs.”