Dubai delays opening of metro stations

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Source:  www.business.maktoob.com

DUBAI – The Red Line of the Dubai Metro will not be fully operational until October, more than a year after the rail system first opened to the public, local daily Emirates Business reported on Tuesday.

Dubai metro
Dubai metro

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has pushed back the opening of seven stations by five days to April 30, while the remaining 11 unfinished stations will come online by October, the newspaper said, citing an RTA spokesman.

The RTA said in February that 18 unfinished stations on the Red Line would be ready by April 25 and opened in phases.

The stations scheduled to open on April 25  were Emirates Station, Airport Terminal 1 Station, GGICO Station, Al Karama Station, World Trade Center Station, Marina Station and Ibn Battuta Station.

The RTA said the reason for the latest delay was to allow for testing of new trains, according to Emirates Business.

“The launch has been moved by a few days to accommodate proper testing of the new trains,” Peyman Parham, director of marketing and corporate communications at the RTA, was quoted as saying.

“These will come into service at the same time as the opening of the seven stations by April 30,” he added.

The minor setback is the latest in a string of problems to beset a metro project that has run millions of dollars over budget and will be completed more than a year later than originally planned.

The RTA also said in February it had pushed back the completion date for the metro’s second line, the Green Line, by more than a year to August 2011.

The 52 km Red Line, which runs between Al-Rashidiya and Jebel Ali, launched on Sept. 9 last year with just a third of its 29 stations operational.

The remaining 19 stations were scheduled to open by February, but so far the RTA has only opened the Dubai Mall station.

Completion of the 23 km Green Line, which will run between Al-Qusais and Al-Jadaf, was originally scheduled for March.

Work has been held up by a long-running row between the RTA and the Japanese-led consortium building the metro over who should pay for extra costs, which have ballooned due to changes to designs and the addition of new stations and facilities.

The total cost of the metro project had soared 75 percent to 28 billion dirhams ($7.62 billion) as of August last year.

The RTA said last month it had reached an agreement with the consortium.