By Ashfaq Ahmed, Deputy UAE Editor www.gulfnews.com
Dubai: Preparations for the launch of the long-awaited Green Line of the Dubai Metro are complete with all stations manned and the trains ready to go.
The new route will be officially opened to passengers on Friday, exactly two years after the launch of the original Red Line on September 9, 2009.
The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has deployed 456 shuttle buses on 39 routes to link the stations with the surrounding neighbourhood.
The 23 kilometre-long Green Line is the second of the Dubai Metro project — the longest driverless automatic train system with a total length of 75 kilometres. It includes the 52 kilometre-long Red Line linking Al Rashidiya to the Jebel Ali Free Zone.
Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, was responsible for inspecting the Green Line.
Al Tayer focused on parking provision for buses and taxis at each station as well as the state of roads leading to stations and signs. He was joined by Adnan Al Hamadi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Rail Agency of the RTA and other senior officials.
The Dubai Metro operator, Serco, has completed the training of front-end and customer service staff.
According to the RTA, the consortium undertaking the project has completed comprehensive technical testing of the finishing works on floors, escalators and lifts, interior lighting, air-conditioning, footbridges, metro carriages and arrangements for those with special needs including tactile floor to guide visually impaired individuals to their intended destinations as well as the sound and optical announcement systems.
During his visit, Al Tayer attended a briefing on the technical trial of the Green Line which included testing the communication systems, automated operational system, power supply, air-conditioning, on-board electronic systems, signalling and lighting systems.
Al Tayer inspected all the stations. He set off his journey from Etisalat at Al Ghusais, near Emirates Road, which is the starting point of the Green Line.
Here he inspected the entry points of the new roads leading to the multi-level car park terminal which has recently been constructed, and also viewed the car park designated for public buses and taxis feeding the station.
This is the closest station for passengers coming from Sharjah and other neigbouring emirates and has parking facilities for about 3,000 vehicles.
He also inspected pedestrian footbridges and subways linking the metro stations which are fitted with air-conditioning systems.
Al Tayer stressed that all the Metro employees have to focus on attaining the satisfaction of the metro riders and implementing the rules and regulations to maintain the security and safety of passengers and properties.
The Public Transport Agency has completed the training of bus drivers on the new routes feeding the metro stations.
Some 14 trains will be operated on the Green Line during peak times and 10 trains during off-peak hours. The service frequency will range from six to eight minutes.
Going green: 6 underground stations
The 23-kilometre-long Green Line runs from Al Qusais near Emirates Road to Al Jaddaf near Business Bay Crossing, passing through the congested Central Business District of Deira and Bur Dubai.
It will link with the Red Line at Khalid Bin Al Waleed and Union Stations, allowing passengers to change trains.
The Green Line has 18 stations in addition to the two interchange stations where it links with the Red Line. This includes 12 elevated and six underground stations.
Some 7.9 kilometres of the total length of the 23 kilometres is underground.