By Andy Sambidge www.arabianbusiness.com
A decision by transport chiefs to ban food and drink on Dubai Metro has been welcomed by a majority of would-be passengers.
Fines of AED100 will be handed out to anyone caught eating or drinking on the new rail system which is due to open on September 9.
And the ban has been applauded by 54 percent of people who took part in an Arabian Business online poll.
They said the decision to stop passengers taking food on board the trains would help to keep them clean.
Public transport penalties in Dubai will rise to AED500 for offences such as destroying, damaging or tampering with devices, equipment or seats of public transport facilities and services, the Roads and Transport Authority announced earlier this week.
A AED200 fine awaits any passenger who tries to use the metro system without a valid ticket.
In our poll, which attracted hundreds of votes on Wednesday and Thursday, only 15 percent of respondents said that the ban would put them off from using the rail service.
A further 10 percent believed that the impact of the ban would be felt in the morning service when commuters might typically want to eat breakfast as they travelled to work.
Twenty-one percent of respondents said they did not consider the issue of food and drink to be that important, seeing punctuality and reliability as the reasons why they would choose to ride the metro.
A list of fines has been approved by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of the Executive Council.
As well as more than 660 trained police officers specially trained to protect the passengers and the transport system, there will be officials from the RTA and the operator Serco to ensure passengers obey the rules.