By Ashfaq Ahmed, Deputy UAE Editor www.gulfnews.com
Dubai: The much awaited Green Line of the Dubai Metro is set to open in September, most probably in the first week during the Eid Al Fitr holidays, a senior official at the RTA said.
“Though the exact date of the inauguration is yet to be determined, we hope to open the Green Line in early September,” said Mattar Al Tayer, chairman of the board and executive director of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
Al Tayer said all stations on the Green Line are in full readiness while trains have been undergoing trial runs for nearly six months.
The 23-kilometre-long Green Line runs from Al Ghusais near Emirates Road to Al Jaddaf (near Business Bay Crossing) passing through the congested Central Business District (CBD) areas of Deira and Bur Dubai. It will link with the Red Line at Khalid Bin Al Waleed and Union Stations, allowing passengers to change trains.
The Green Line is the second track for the Dubai Metro project — the longest driverless automatic train system with a network spanning 75 kilometres. The Red Line, stretching 52.1 kilometres, links areas from Al Rashidiya to Jebel Ali Free Zone.
The Green Line boast a total of 18 stations — 12 elevated and six underground. Besides, two stations — Khalid Bin Al Waleed and Union — are common to the Red and Green lines.
Some 7.9 kilometres out of the total length of the Green Line will run underground.
Of the 18 stations, only 16 stations will be opened initially. The two remaining stations at Al Jaddaf and the Creek will be opened to the public after development work around around them is completed.
The RTA will initially operate 13 trains during the morning and evening peak hours and 10 trains during the off-peak hours.
The Dubai Metro, which cost the RTA more than Dh28 billion, is part of the RTA’s plans to have a comprehensive integrated public transport system with the ultimate goal of reducing traffic congestion.
The Green Line of the Metro was originally scheduled to open in March last year but the completion period was extended until August 2011 following the economic downturn and slowdown in the completion of several development projects.
The Red Line of the Metro was opened on schedule on September 9, 2009 and has received a very positive response from commuters.
Al Tayer said the Green Line will not only provide a vital and quick link between government departments in Dubai but also make it easier to travel fast within congested areas of Dubai.
Al Qusais Station of the Green Line will facilitate easy access to offices of the Ministry of Education and the General Department of Dubai Civil Defence as well as Al Twar Centre, a hub for several government services.
The Airport Free Zone Station will serve Terminal 2 of Dubai Airport and Dubai Airport Free Zone. Similarly, Al Nahda Station will ensure better connectivity for Ministry of Public Works offices and the Union Cooperative Society.
Al Qiyadah Station on Al Ittihad Road is close to the Dubai Police General Headquarters while the Abu Hail station will serve a host of public schools, commercial centres and businesses.
Abu Baker Al Siddique Station lies close to Al Muraqqabat police station and will serve several commercial centres, hotels and business outlets.
The Baniyas Square Station will serve a densely populated area with a high density of business traffic. It will make Naif Souk and a large number of hotels and business outlets easily accessible. The Palm Deira Station will serve areas near Dubai Gold Souk.
Al Fahidi Station serves high-density commercial areas in Bur Dubai. Oud Metha Station will serve a variety of government entities such as Rashid Hospital, Dubai Media, schools and a number of community clubs and associations.
Dubai Healthcare City Station, the last station on the route, will mainly serve hospitals and clinics and hotels in the vicinity.
- 7.9km: underground stretch of the Green Line
- 23km: total length of the new route
- 6: underground stations along the Green Line
- 12: elevated stations along the route
Parking facilities and bus links envisaged
The Etisalat Station on the Green Line in Al Ghusais area near Emirates Road will provide easy park-and-ride facilities to people coming from Sharjah or other emirates.
There will be a dedicated parking plaza adjacent to the station with parking spaces for around 2,300 vehicles with additional capacity to accommodate 6,000 vehicles in future.
The park-and-ride terminal will also enjoy connectivity to an adjoining bus terminal via air-conditioned bridges. New bus routes from the Etisalat Station to Sharjah, Ajman and other emirates will also be started with the opening of the Green Line.