By Saadallah Al Fathi, Special to Gulf News
For some time now I have wanted to write about the Dubai Metro and its impact on the city.
Travelling by car in Dubai and suffering the congestion, especially during rush hours, made me wonder what would have happened if the Metro wasn’t there. More than that is the passenger traffic on the Metro itself and wondering how they would have commuted and how much more congestion on the roads we would have seen.
I am an avid supporter of the Metro and have written about it more than once since it started operations in September 2009. Today, I am encouraged by the latest available statistics, which tells the success story of the Metro and puts an end to the thoughts of all the doubters.
During the first half of this year, the Metro transported 81.4 million riders, averaging 452,000 riders daily according to the Road Transport Authority. To appreciate this number, we may remember that the average daily traffic in all of 2011 was close to 189,000 commuters only.
In September 2011, when the Green Line started, I wrote: “We are told that the Green Line is expected to handle 120,000 passengers per day while the Red Line serves 180,000 passengers a day. However I dare say that these numbers will be exceeded because the impact of one line over the other is yet to be seen.”
That statement is now borne out by the experience and current statistics, which has surpassed all expectations. The city of Oslo in Norway, which has about the same population as Dubai and with a very elaborate metro network, has a daily commuter traffic of about 200,000 only.
This brings me to say that the Dubai Metro is getting very crowded and I know from personal experience that this is driving some people away from using it. More info