Dubai Metro: Pulling out all stops

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2010

By Alia Al Theeb, Deputy UAE Editor  www.gulfnews.com

Dubai: The Dubai Metro has already achieved many of the goals for which it was built, a senior transport official said on Wednesday.

    *  Passengers pass through the turnstiles at the Mall of the Emirates station. Most Metro users agree that they seldom have to wait around for trains and are very pleased with the frequency of services.     * Image Credit: Oliver Clarke/Gulf News
* Passengers pass through the turnstiles at the Mall of the Emirates station. Most Metro users agree that they seldom have to wait around for trains and are very pleased with the frequency of services. * Image Credit: Oliver Clarke/Gulf News

Thursday marks exactly one year since the Dubai Metro made its first journey.

The Roads and Transport Authority said a total of 30 million passengers have used Dubai Metro since first began operations.

Dubai Metro is a driverless, fully automated Metro network built at a cost of Dh28 billion. The number of stations which are currently operational on the Red Line number 21, from a total of 29. The remaining eight stations on the same line are expected to be opened by the end of the year.

In a statement, Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the RTA’s Board and Chief Executive, said the strategic objective was for public transport to carry 30 per cent of commuters by 2020. Currently the figure is 12.6 per cent.

“The next step will be to spread the culture of using mass transit modes and encourage the community members to use them in their daily travels,” Al Tayer had said.

Engineer Adnan Al Hammadi, Chief Executive Officer of the RTA’s Rail Agency, said current statistics on the Dubai Metro showed that the frequency of use and the daily average in terms of passenger numbers was in line with estimates for the rail service.

He said the Metro’s Red Line service had reduced road traffic by between 10 and 20 per cent during peak hours in the areas it served.

“With the start of the Green Line besides the Red Line, it is expected that the number of users will increase further next year compared to this year. This increase reflects the demand for travelling by the Metro specifically,” he said.

Al Hammadi said the Metro’s opening had brought many benefits to Dubai.

“Launching the Metro has contributed in reducing traffic congestion, as its effects appeared on the areas which are served by various metro stations,” he said.

Economic boost

Al Hammadi said the launch of the Metro also helped boost the city’s economy, as it connected tourism and trade destinations and main services with the metro network. For example, the price of land near the Metro stations had risen, he said.

Dubai Metro had also helped save energy, he said.

“A recent study by [RTA] had revealed the Metro project has successfully contributed to the RTA’s energy conservation plans,” Al Hammadi said.

“The operational results showed that the specifications set by the RTA for the design of the Metro systems contributed to a 25 per cent reduction in power consumption, which is equivalent to Dh20 million per year. Reduced carbon dioxide emissions from power generation plants driving the Metro added more value to the cost savings.”

Dubai Metro had also achieved a punctuality rate of more than 99 per cent — the highest of any driverless Metro system in the world, Gulf News has reported previously.

Dubai Metro’s punctuality rate was ahead of major driverless Metro systems around the world, including the North East Line in Singapore and the Docklands Light Rail in London, the RTA said.

Ignorance of rules can be costly

Dubai Adnan Al Hammadi, Chief Executive Officer of the Roads and Transport Authority’s Rail Agency, said that between the launch of Dubai Metro and August 14 this year, around 6,253 fines had been issued for various offences on Dubai Metro.

“The reason behind increase in Metro fines is due to the lack of abiding on the part of some commuters and the ignorance about the laws of using public transport,” he said adding that the most common fines were for eating or drinking in undesignated areas of the Metro including on trains, and for entering or sitting in places other than specified, or using public transport without paying the fare.

Al Hammadi said if lost items were found inside Metro trains or stations, the attendant stored them for 24 hours. Unclaimed items would be transferred to the central Khalid Bin Al Waleed Station, after which it was handed over to police, he said.

Eid timings

During Eid Al Fitr holidays, Dubai Metro timings across the 21 stations will be from 6am to 1am, except on Friday when trains will run from 2pm to 1am.

For inquiries about train schedules, call 800 9090.