By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter, and Mahmood Saberi, Senior Reporter
Dubai: Metro services ran intermittently for about four hours last night, disrupting passengers, many of whom were stuck on trains.
There were intermittent services between 5 and 9pm, after which service returned to normal.
Passengers – finding themselves stuck on the train at iftar time – ended their fast together by sharing their groceries.
Tabriz, a passenger, was inside the train with his family for 50 minutes at Mall of the Emirates.
“My two kids are two and six, they were shouting and crying.
“We could not end our fast because we couldn’t get out of the train. We couldn’t understand what the announcements were on the tannoy system. There was no guidance and the train was jam-packed.
“We travelled to Al Rashidiya station at 1.30pm and there were about 1,000 people trying to get on the train. In the end, we got off at Mall of the Emirates and took a cab to Nakheel Harbour to pick up our car,” he said.
Abdullah Al Madani, Chief Executive Officer of the RTA’s Corporate Technical Support Services Sector, said: “A passenger pushed the emergency stop button, which led to delays.”
Sources at the RTA told Gulf News that there was an “issue with the software in the operations room, which controls the driverless trains”.
“We couldn’t take people to the stations because the [system] was not synchronising,” the source said.
When contacted by Gulf News, Serco – which operates the Metro – referred reporters to the RTA for official comment.
The RTA said Serco is the operator and the RTA was waiting for information from them.
When trains did arrive at stations, passengers were told to leave the station and take buses or taxis back to their homes.
In case of a train breaking down or becoming stationary, Serco in coordination with the RTA under an agreement is supposed to provide transport for passengers on the train to the next station within 15 minutes.
Passengers at the stations rang in to Gulf News saying that they had been told to leave the stations.
One family said a 10 minute journey from Mall of the Emirates to the Financial Centre Station took two hours.
With inputs from Mohammad N. Al Khan, Staff Reporter