By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter www.gulfnews.com
Dubai: Express bus routes have been launched along the Dubai Metro Red Line to provide immediate alternative transport to the Metro passengers in case the trains break down, said a senior official.
“We have deployed buses at the Mall of the Emirates Station – the busiest one so far – to run a parallel bus service along the Red Line to carry passengers in case of any disruption in the train operations,” said Eisa Al Dossari, Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Agency of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
He said the decision to have a parallel bus route in addition to the existing feeder buses for the stations, had been taken after witnessing the disruption of the train service which caused some inconvenience to the Metro users.
“Now there will be a bus available to take passengers direct to the airport and other buses to carry passengers to the next station or any other station along the Red Line,” Al Dossari said while speaking at the Ramadan majlis organised by the Dubai Press Club.
Abdullah Rashid, Abu Dhabi Editor of Gulf News was the moderator at the majlis which was attended by a number of senior RTA officials, who interacted with journalists.
“We are planning to have 90 per cent of Dubai’s urban and suburban areas covered with public buses by the 2010 with more than 2,000 buses,” said Al Dossari.
He said the maximum distance to get to the public transport would be 250 metres from a passenger’s doorstep once the system is fully operational by the end of next month.
Abdul Mohsin, CEO of the Strategy and Corporate Governance at the RTA, said that some nine million individual road trips are made every day in Dubai and only 6 per cent of them are taken on public transport.
“We want to achieve 30 per cent of the individual road trips taken by public buses by 2020 while the Metro will take up to 17 per cent of these. By 2020, we are expecting some 20 million individual road trips daily in Dubai,” he noted.
Regarding the recent glitches and delays, Abdul Majeed Al Khaja, CEO of the RTA’s Rail Agency said: “We were expecting these during the ‘joy ride’.” He said that the train operations would be normal once this period is over in another few weeks and the passengers get to know how to use trains.
Ahmad Bahrouziyan, CEO of the RTA’s Licensing Agency said that there was no plan to increase the registration fee of cars to force people to use the Metro.
Khalid Al Zahid, Director of the Maritime Department at the RTA, said that the water taxi would be launched in the first quarter of next year while the ferry service would be operational by the end of next year.
“These services would also be linked with the Metro,” he added.