By Mahmood Saberi, Senior Reporter www.gulfnews.com
Dubai: Commuters seemed excited riding Dubai Metro trains on Friday although at many stations they were packed like sardines due to the massive weekend crowds.
Metro attendants were swamped by the rush of people but valiantly carried on explaining how the cards worked at the turnstiles even as the ticket machines failed.
The majority of the commuters were joyriders, testing out the trains for the first time.
Rochelle, a Filipina working at Ibn Battuta Mall had come to Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station on a free bus service from the mall. The RTA is running a free feeder service from Ibn Battuta Mall to Nakheel every five minutes until next year as the station near the Mall is still under construction.
She said she was taking the Metro to a station near the Trade Centre and from there she was taking a bus to her home in Satwa.
Taking a car lift is still cheaper for her than the Metro by Dh10 but she was taking the train as her car lift does not pick her up on Fridays. The car lift costs Dh250 compared to the Metro at Dh260.
At Nakheel Harbour a family was seen dragging their luggage through the turnstiles. Prakash and his family landed yesterday from Mumbai and decided to take the Metro home. “The ride [from Terminal 3] was excellent,” he said.
A taxi ride from the airport to Jebel Ali costs about Dh90, compared to less than Dh5 per passenger on the train.
An Indian couple came to ride the Metro all the way from Abu Dhabi.
“We never thought it would be so crowded,” said Harbinder Singh.
“It’s crowded just like in Delhi,” said his wife Simreen.
“But [the trains] are more sophisticated,” said her husband. At the Mall of the Emirates commuters were packed into the trains.
“It will take 15 minutes,” said a security guard pointing to the crowd waiting to get on the Metro walkway. “It’s the weekend.”
Beyer, a tourist from Germany with his mother, said it was great that Dubai has got the Metro.
“That was very important. But now it has to get organised,” he said, speaking about the breakdown of the ticket machines.