By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter www.gulfnews.com
Dubai: More than 600,000 passengers used Dubai’s mass transit system during Monday’s Free Transport Day initiated by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to mark its fifth anniversary.
Of the 606,390 passengers counted by RTA, 205,965 took the Dubai Metro compared to a daily average of 140,000 on a normal day.
A total of 394,325 passengers used public buses compared to around 296,000 passengers recorded on Sunday. The number of passengers who took the water bus reached 6,100 compared to 700 on any normal day. Around 437,000 passengers use all three modes of public transport on normal days.
The Free Transport Day will be held every year on November 1.
The International Association of Public Transport (UITP), an international body of transport authorities from around the world, praised the RTA’s initiative. Hans Rat, Secretary General of the (UITP), said: “I am extremely delighted with taking part on this day and I have used the public buses, Metro and the water bus in transiting across Dubai emirate. What has captured my attention is the massive participation of the public as well as VIPs.” He noted the achievements made by the RTA over the past five years stand out as a milestone in the public transport sector not only in the Middle East and North Africa region, but also across the globe.
Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, thanked Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, for sponsoring the Free Transport Day initiative.
He also thanked Shaikh Majid Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture, for inaugurating the Public Transport Day initiative.