By Ashfaq Ahmed, Deputy UAE Editor www.gulfnews.com
Dubai: There are no immediate plans to launch any new Metro Line because the existing public transport infrastructure is enough to cater to the population of five to eight million people in Dubai, said the chief of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
“We also don’t have any plans to make it difficult for people to own their private cars as the RTA is not going to increase car registration fees,” he said in reply to a Gulf News question.
“Owning a car in Dubai is one of the cheapest in the world and the Dubai rulers have given instructions to keep the options open for everyone because Dubai is a commercial hub,” he said. However, he said the RTA has set a target of increasing public transport’s share to 30 per cent by 2020 from the current 12.5 per cent.
“We have completed 90 per cent of our public transport and road infrastructure and the rest will be completed soon,” said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, at a press conference at the Etisalat Station after the official launch of the Green Line yesterday.
He said the RTA has no immediate plans to launch the proposed Purple and Blue Lines, but they would do so if there is a need in the future.
‘The current public transport system can cater to up to one million passengers daily and it is enough for a population of five to eight million,” he said, adding that the current population is a little more than 2 million and with five per cent annual projected growth, the existing infrastructure is enough for more than 20 years.
Senior officials of the RTA including Adnan Al Hammadi, CEO of the Rail Agency; Eisa Al Dossary, CEO of the Public Transport Agency; Ramadan Abdullah, Director of Rail Operations; Mohammad Mudharrab, Director of Automated Fare Collection System; Dr Ayesha Busmit, Director of Marketing and Abdul Reda, Director of Planning were present at the press conference.
The Green Line is expected to handle 100,000 passengers daily within the first two weeks and its capacity will increase to 120,000 per day later. The Red Line currently serves 180,000 passengers a day.
Some 1.5 to 2 million passengers will be served on the public transport system in the next 15 to 20 years, Al Tayer said.
- 23 km: total length
- 20: stations, including 18 dedicated stations in addition to two joint stations (transfer stations)
- 1.2 km: average distance between stations
- Integration Al Ghubaiba station (offering integration with all mass transit modes i.e. the metro, buses, marine transport and taxis)
- 10 km: underground track (about 44% of the total track)
- Key areas served Government entities (Ministries, Dubai Police)Heritage areas and Souqs
- 6: underground stations
- 2: joint stations with the Red Line
- 14: trains during peak times, and 10 trains during off-peak times
- 6 to 8: minutes interval between trains
- 36: minutes travel time on Green Line
- 65: minutes travel time on Red Line
Metro in Guinness World Records
The Dubai Metro has entered the Guinness World Records registering its place as the longest driverless metro system in the world.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, along with dignitaries and guests unveiled the record certificate at the opening ceremony at Healthcare City Station.
Shaikh Mohammad took a ride on the Green Line and also toured five stations including Al Fahidi, Al Ghubaiba, Baniyas, Salahuddin and Etisalat.
He unveiled several commemorative pieces at different stations.
He unveiled a memorial plaque in the form of a tree with words written in Arabic saying, ‘Thanks to Allah, we were able to transform the dream to reality, tangible actuality, and great achievement.”
At Al Ghubaiba Station, which is a heritage station, he symbolically put in the last piece in a model of Dubai’s public transport map.
He then visited the Dubai Ferry and Water bus station at the creek.
At Baniyas Station he unveiled the model of ‘Twin Cities’ highlighting the fact that Dubai has signed agreements with 19 cities.
At Salah Al Deen Station, Shaikh Mohammad unveiled a metal globe model of the earth with coins of every country inscribed on it.
He also placed a golden dirham featuring his own image on one side and the Dubai Metro on the other side.