By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter www.gulfnews.com
Dubai: All 29 stations on the Red Line are completely ready and have been handed over to the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Gulf News has learnt.
“Though the contractor has already completed and handed us over all the 29 stations on the Red, we will open them in phases as planned,” said Engineer Adnan Al Hammadi, Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Rail Agency at the RTA.
He said they are all set to open seven stations on April 30 and another three on May 15.
“We have already handed over new stations to Serco — the Metro operator — and they are getting ready to receive passengers at the new stations from Friday,” he added.
The number of operational stations will reach 21 out of a total 29 by May 15.
Asked when the RTA will open the remaining eight stations, Al Hammadi told Gulf News yesterday the remaining stations would be opened gradually in the coming months but there is no set deadline.
“We open the stations after studying surrounding areas of the stations vis-à-vis population density, traffic congestion and expected ridership,” he added.
Meanwhile, a number of changes in the Metro operation will be introduced from Friday with the opening of the new stations.
“We are adding 10 more trains, bringing the total number of trains to 22,” said Ramadan Abdullah, Director of Operations at the RTA’s Rail Agency.
He told Gulf News that the maximum waiting time would be reduced from 10 to six minutes during peak hours and eight minutes during off-peak hours.
The RTA expects the number of passengers using the Metro to increase from an average 80,000 per day to 140,000.
“These numbers are set to rise with the opening of the new stations and we expect to carry 35 million passengers by the end of 2010,” he added.
The Metro has carried 13.68 million persons from September last year to the end of March.
At least 28 public bus routes will serve the 10 new stations opening on April 30 and May 15.
Details of the bus routes are available on RTA’s Wojhati (journey planner) website.
The revised list of seven metro stations which will be opened on April 30 include:
Emirates, Airport Terminal 1, Al Karama, Emirates Towers, Dubai Internet City, Marina and Ibn Battuta stations.
Three stations including Al Qouz, GGICO and the World Trade Centre will be operational from May 15 while rest of the stations will be opened in coming months.
From April 30 you have:
6 minutes frequency of trains in any direction during peak hours
8 minutes frequency of trains in any direction during off peak hours
21 – stations will be operational from May 15
22 – trains to serve commuters
28 – new public bus routes to be introduced for the 10 new stations
140,000 – passengers projected to use the trains a day