DUBAI – Dubai Metro is on the fast track to financial viability and is expected to break even in five years, while the bus system operated by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is expected to recover costs in 2016.
This follows a massive rise in passenger numbers and savings in the operations of the mass transit system. The public transport system has cut Dh1.5 billion in costs, according to the RTA.
“The RTA is envisaging the Dubai Metro to reach the break-even point in 2017, which would be possible through increased metro ridership, and augmented revenues generated from stations naming rights, advertisements and rental of retail outlets,” said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman and Executive Director of the authority.
For public buses, the RTA “anticipates to reach the break-even point in 2016 through attracting more passengers, raising the operational capacity, and raising revenues from miscellaneous sources”.
Al Tayer was speaking at the MetroRail 2012 Conference being held in London. The four-day conference concludes today. Of the Dh1.55 billion saved in operating costs, Dh1.423 billion was from Dubai Metro and about Dh86 million from the bus system.
Dubai Metro revised some contracts and policies in its efforts to bring down costs. Optimal use of spare parts contributed to realising the saving goals.
Some buses were rerouted, some routes were merged and this helped further reduce fuel costs, the RTA chairman said. The Automated Vehicle Management system implemented in 2007 ensured that buses are running on time.
“From inception, the RTA had been confronted with a host of challenges at the top of which was the hiring of competent administrative and technical staff and sorting out the traffic congestion which cost the emirate then about Dh4.8 billion per annum in terms of time wasted,” said Al Tayer.
People using the public transport modes are growing as the metro and buses expand their reach. In the 2005-2011 period, it jumped 109 per cent, rising from 91 million passengers in 2005 to more than 190 million last year.
This improved the share of public transport in travel from 6 per cent in 2006 to 10 per cent in 2011, said the RTA chairman.