By Martin Croucher www.khaleejtimes.com
DUBAI — Six out of ten residents of Dubai have not yet ridden the metro and only a fraction ride it regularly every day, a new survey has found.
The You Gov Siraj survey found that 59 per cent of Dubai residents have not used the metro yet, and only three per cent say they use it daily.
The survey sample is of 801 people in a broad cross section of different nationalities and social groups. The findings were recorded between October 13-20.
Amir Bozorgzadeh, business development associate at YouGov, said that he didn’t think the survey results were already out of date.
“Whether or not the popularity of the Dubai Metro will rise or fall in the near future is still a grey area,” he said.
Peyman Younes Parham, director of marketing and corporate communications at the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), said that since the start of the Metro operations, Dubai Metro had attracted three million passengers.
“Every day we are seeing 57,000 people riding the metro, which is a great success for us,” he said. “We were expected 40 per cent less than this. Only 10 out of 29 stations on the Red Line are open, and the Green Line isn’t open yet.
“Once more stations open we will see an increase in those numbers for sure.”
Only 24 per cent of respondents said that they had noticed a great or small drop in traffic since the metro opened, and 61 per cent said that they had not noticed any reduction.
Although a fifth of respondents said that they currently use the metro for commuting to work, just seven per cent said that they use it more than once per week.
Some 29 per cent of respondents said that they will use the metro regularly once all stations were opened, 18 per cent said they would not, and 45 per cent said “maybe”.
The results came as part of a broad-ranging survey into people’s lifestyle habits. The findings found that half of residents were concerned about water shortages, and 61 per cent believe the government should bring in policies to ensure the future supply.
In addition, the survey found that 66 per cent of residents were concerned about the spread of H1N1. Bozorgzadeh said that the number was on a par with levels of concern in other major cities in the world.
“Dubai is a hub for visitors from across the world,” he said. “In addition, a lot of people who live here travel a lot. This number is in line with what is expected of cities such as London or New York.”