By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter www.gulfnews.com
Dubai: The Dubai Metro running time has been extended by one hour to cope with the expected rush during the Eid Al Adha holiday, said a senior official at the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
The Metro’s operating hours will be from 6am to 1am from Monday to November 20.
However, trains on November 19 will operate from 1pm to 1am.
Similarly, all major bus stations will remain open from 5am to midnight during the Eid holidays and vehicle parking in the paid zones will also be free from November 15 to 19.
“As we expect a huge rush during the Eid holidays, we have already taken appropriate measures and formed special teams to ensure the smooth running of the public transport, especially the Metro,” a senior official told Gulf News on Sunday.
He said that the RTA expects to carry around 200,000 passengers a day during the Eid holiday compared to an average of 140,000 on normal days.
“We always get a huge rush during the Eid holiday and we may increase the number of trains if the situation demands,” the official added.
The trains will halt at each station for about 20 seconds and the frequency of the trains will be every eight minutes from 6am to 4pm and every six minutes after 4pm until late night which is the peak time.
A maximum of 22 trains will serve passengers during the holidays.
The RTA official warned commuters to abide by the rules of safety and security in the Metro stations and on board the trains and buses as these regulations have been adopted for the safety of everyone.
According to RTA statistics, the number of public buses has increased from only 305 in 2001 to 1,593 this year and the bus ridership jumped from 48 million passengers in 2001 to 119 million passengers in 2009 and is expected to increase to 121 million this year.
The Dubai Metro carried more than 36 million passengers since its opening on September 9 last year to October this year.
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi residents who use taxis have been assured by the taxi regulatory authority that there will be enough vehicles during the Eid holiday.
The authority (TransAD) will ensure that taxis are readily available in the areas with the greatest demand, such as crowded streets and shopping malls, Masoud Mohammad Hashim, general manger of TransAD, told Gulf News.
“In addition, all taxi franchisees have been asked to ensure that 90 per cent of vehicles are available after 4pm on the first day of Eid, which is when most residents are out and about,” Hashim said.
During the holidays, residents in the city generally complain of a shortage of taxis on the roads as drivers take time off for celebrations.
Many people complain that it is hardest to find transport during the mornings and afternoons.