By Eugene Harnan www.thenational.ae
DUBAI // The metro is becoming more popular, with passenger numbers increasing each month, according to transport chiefs.
The Roads and Transport Authority said it carried nearly six million passengers in the first three months of operation since it launched the Dh29 billion rail network on September 9.
Figures released by the RTA showed a rise in the number of passengers every month. From September 9 to October 9, 1,198,699 passengers used the driverless train system. The following month, the number of passengers increased by 32 per cent to 1,762,816, and between November 9 and December 9, this rose to 1,904,956.
Ramadhan Abdullah, director of rail operations, at the agency said on average 59,347 people were using the metro every day with Mall of the Emirates Station taking about 10,000 people every day. “Al Rigga and Al Ittihad stations are used by nearly 8,000 persons each on the average,” he added.
Mr Abdullah said the Mall of the Emirates Station recorded the highest number of passengers for the first three months with 929,116 people using the platform. Khalid bin Al Waleed Station had 791,452 passengers and Al Ittihad Station in Deira was the third busiest with 711,785.
Mr Abdullah added: “The Metro receives considerable turnout on Fridays, official holidays and various occasions such as the two Eids and the National Day celebrations.”
He pointed out that crowds gathering around the doors of the platforms were slowing down people getting off the trains. “Congestion is a main and direct cause of slow embarking and disembarking process,” he added.
It is still unclear exactly when the remaining 19 stations will open on the 52kilometre Red Line but the RTA has previously said all stations would be open by the end of February 2010. The authority is considering opening the Burj Dubai metro station to coincide with the opening of the Burj Dubai Tower on January 4.