By Andy Sambidge www.arabianbusiness.com
How many stations will there be on the Red Line?
Initially there will be 10 open but by February 2010, there are 29 stations on the Red Line, 24 elevated, 4 underground and 1 at grade (street level). The stations open on launch are Rashidiya, Airport Terminal 3, Deira City Center, Al Rigga, Union, Khaleed bin Al Waleed, Al Jafiliya, DIFC, Mall of the Emirates and Nakheel Harbour and Tower.
What type of facilities are available at the stations?
The stations on the Dubai Metro line will offer many facilities such as retail outlets and kiosks, such as coffee shops, boutiques, places to eat and tourist information.
Which stations have car parking facilities?
Currently on the Red Line, car parking facilities areas are available at Rashidiya and Jumeirah Islands, both having 3,000 spaces each. There are only a few car parking spaces available at the other Metro stations. However, these stations have good integration with other forms of transport such as taxis, buses and water taxis.
Are there any facilities for left luggage at the stations?
There are no facilities for left luggage at the stations, there are however, on board temporary storage facilities which can be used while travelling between stations to your destination.
Are the stations air-conditioned and will washrooms, toilets be provided?
Yes all the stations and the trains are fully air-conditioned to a mean temperature. All stations will have washroom and toilet facilities for the public.
Will there be prayer rooms made available for the public?
Due to the size of the stations, there are no provision for prayers made for the public.
Are there any special facilities to help the disabled passengers?
For the visually impaired, there are tactile guide paths, Braille on TVMs; lifts and passenger equipment. For the mobility impaired, there are lifts and ramps. Wheelchair spaces are provided in every compartment.
Are there first aid and passenger care systems?
Yes. Station staff are trained as first aiders and there are first aid rooms in stations. Our staff will work closely with ambulance and hospitals for passenger care service whenever necessary.
How many passengers per car and per train? How many are sitting and how many are standing?
Design for 643 per 5-car train. Can carry up to 897 passengers at peak capacity and has structural design for up to 1,150 passengers. There are 142 seats per train.
How fast can the Dubai Metro trains go?
The speed of the trains in automatic mode can run from 45-90 kph depending on the track section. Red Line: Average speed 42 km per hour. Green Line: Average speed 32 km per hour.
How many people are expected to ride on the Dubai Metro?
In the initial stages, it has been forecast that 11,000 passengers will use the Dubai Metro every hour during peak times with an estimated 74,319 passengers per day.
How many classes of train service are there? What are the differences in the service between classes?
Women & Children (special car for women & children; more space to allow strollers and bags); 12 seats & 3 flip up chairs. Gold (more spacious; higher level of privacy; luggage space, leather seating; 18 deluxe seats situated at the front of the train). Silver (standard; 25 to 27 seats).
How long is each five car train?
Each of the first and last car measure 17.55m in length. Each of the middle 3 cars measure 16.8m in length. The total length of the train is 85.5m.
What are the special facilities that you will have inside the trains?
Elderly, injured, special needs people and pregnant women will have the choice of priority seating. The compartments will be equipped with audio visual devices, passenger information display and public address in Arabic & English. Clear signage will show the route map of the metro and other directions for passengers. Closed circuit television in all trains will ensure a safe journey. There is also wireless internet coverage inside train.
Who built the Dubai Metro?
The first phase of the network (Red and Green Line) is being built by Dubai Rapid Link (DURL) Consortium which comprises Japanese companies including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Corporation, Obayashi Corporation, Kajima Corporation and the Turkish company Yapi Merkezi.
Can the Metro reduce the traffic jam in Dubai? What is the time saving we can expect to bring to the travelling public?
It will reduce traffic jams in Dubai, in particular Sheikh Zayed Road, Bur Dubai and Deira. Time saving: depends on the destinations of the passengers but it can be as high as 50 percent saving in journey time.
What is the role of Serco?
Serco as the concessionaire is responsible for the operations and maintenance of the Red Line and Green Line of Dubai Metro for the first seven years and an option of a further five years.
Why is the RTA so confident that the Dubai Metro will help save travelling time?
The Metro will be run on dedicated guide way; hence no traffic jam. It is designed with a high level of reliability and punctuality so passengers can plan their journey time. The experience in other cities also confirms this assumption.
What is Serco’s experience in managing Metro/rail?
Experience includes Dockland Light Rail, Copenhagen Metro, Mersey Rail in Liverpool, Manchester Metro link, Northern Rail in UK, Great Southern Rail.
What does the RTA expect in terms of how much of the Metro capacity will be used?
Depends on the time of the day – at peak hour it is expected that more than 50 percent of the capacity will be used initially. The utilisation will increase over time. A maximum of four people per sq m loading will be maintained.
Are you permitted to eat and drink on board the trains?
No, eating and drinking on board a train is a byelaw offence.
When do you expect that the capacity will be saturated?
The planned network will be expanded when demand increases.
Is smoking allowed within the Metro facilities?
Smoking is not allowed within the Metro facilities.
Is there any plan to link with Sharjah or Abu Dhabi?
The Integrated Transport Master Plan is being developed by RTA.
What other lines besides Red & Green does the RTA hope to introduce?
The Red Line would be extended from the Jebel Ali Free Zone to the Dubai-Abu Dhabi border. RTA is also studying options to extend the Red Line from Jebel Ali to the Jebel Ali Airport, which is under construction at the moment. The extension of the Green Line has been approved already, with the line extended to 4.9 km from the Healthcare City to Jaddaf. Initially, the Green Line was to be 17.6 km long. Similarly, the Purple and the Blue Lines would be catering to the commuters between the Dubai International Airport and the Jebel Ali Airport and the Emirates Road. A tram Line, Al Sofooh Line, has also been approved and will be a feeder to the Red Line.
Will pets be allowed in stations and trains?
For hygiene and safety reasons, pets are not allowed in the stations and trains.
Will there be an expansion plan for the train fleet?
The train fleet will increase over time to meet passenger demand and service standard.
Does the Metro operate extra services for special events?
We take into account special events when planning our services in advance and wherever possible we will always endeavour to provide additional services to cope with passenger demand.
Will the frequency of the services increase in the future?
We will closely monitor customer travel patterns and will adjust the timetable/frequency accordingly if it becomes necessary.
How frequent are the trains?
The trains will operate every 3 minutes and 45 second during peak times.
How long does the train take from Rashidiya to Jafza?
Why are there 3 peak services each day?
We operate 3 peak services to cater for passenger demand – 6.30-8.30am, 12.30-2pm and 5.30-9pm – this is when the system will be at its busiest with commuters using the system to get to and from their place of business and for customers wishing to make use of the Metro at lunch time.
Will the service get heavily overloaded during special festivities/special events – making it unsafe to travel on?
Serco always put customer safety first. Serco prepares special safety plans for events which will attract more passengers including crowd control measures, provision of additional trains, increase train frequency, and deployment of additional frontline and security staff.
How will Serco/RTA ensure that the trains run on time?
The most sophisticated train control system is used to monitor and control train movement which will ensure punctuality. A state-of-the-art Operations Control Centre overseeing train movement by well trained controllers will also ensure train run on schedule. Redundant design and condition monitoring alarms for safety critical equipment will also be used as well as proactive preventive maintenance.
What are the service hours?
Every station will have the train service hours stated at the entrance. Normal operating hours will be 6am to 11pm, except Fridays, when it will operate from 2pm.
How can I make a complaint about the Dubai Metro?
If you have a complaint, the easiest way to register this would be to call the RTA on 8009090, alternatively, you can visit the RTA website at www.rta.gov.ae and submit your complaint via the website. We endeavour to respond to all correspondence within 14 days.
Can I take large items on board the train such as a surf board?
No you cannot. You are able to take on board smaller items, such as hand luggage.
What are the Key Performance Targets that Serco need to achieve for managing the Dubai Metro?
Train punctuality (99%), Train availability (99%), Equipment availability (99%).
Will there be any penalty in the case that the service targets are not met?
Yes; there will be penalty. Serco will be putting in every effort to make sure that targets will be met.
How will Serco/RTA ensure that the staffs are helpful and the services are of good quality?
Through careful selection of staff. Provision of customer service training to all service staff, building a service culture and monitoring performance through customer satisfaction surveys.
How many languages will the train and station attendants speak?
There will be staff able to speak Arabic and English at the stations and onboard. Serco is also looking at providing multi-language support through the Customer Service Call Centre.
What are the job opportunities and the percentage of UAE nationals to be recruited for the Metro when it operates?
The current target of Emiratisation is 30-50 percent of positions at and above manager level at initial years of Red Line and Green Line operations. 50-60 percent of positions at manager and above levels by 2015.
Can you tell us the total number of staff for the Metro?
2,200 staff will be recruited for the opening of Red Line, building up to 3,000 staff when both Red Line and Green Line open.
What about security on trains at and near stations?
Professionally trained security staff will be recruited to perform the following tasks: Patrolling of stations and trains, 24/365 access control, management of security risks, enforcement of railway bye-laws, cooperation with Police on law and order enforcement. There will be a dedicated Police team in managing security issues in Dubai Metro. State-of-the-art safety equipment will be used such as CCTV in stations, trains, depots, track-side and sub-stations, Emergency Call Points (ECP) on station platforms & trains, intrusion alarm systems and smart card operated access control system.
Is the train safe to ride as we see a lot of swerving curves in the track?
Yes. Dubai Metro is designed to meet international safety standards and its safety is assessed by an Independent Safety Assessor (ISA). The Metro can run up and down the viaduct safely and up to 3-4 percent gradient.
Is there any chance of a train breaking down. If so, do you have any contingency plans?
The probability of such event will be very low. In the unfortunate event if that happens, Serco has prepared contingency plans to ensure passenger safety and comfort.
Will the railway make a lot of noise and prevent me and my family from sleeping at night?
Noise mitigation measures include low noise motors and air-conditioning equipments, viaduct enclosure designs to reduce noise propagation while anti-vibration measures are included in the track system to minimise noise.
What is the forecast patronage for the Metro?
Year 1: about 600,000 per day; 1.8 million per year. By 2020: about 1.8 million per day; over 650 million per year.
What will be the expected market share?
Eventually achieving 30 percent when the full network opens.
How will Serco handover the concession to RTA at the end of contract and will that guarantee that the operation and management of the Metro will not be affected?
Serco is obliged to hand back the Dubai Metro to RTA in a similar condition as received at the outset, and is subject to a rigorous regime for care and maintenance of the assets of the railway.
(Information supplied by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority)