Questions answered by Ashfaq Ahmed, Gulf News Chief Reporter
Gulf News has compiled the most frequently asked questions about Dubai’s newest form of transport. From fares to food, stations to security and trains to tracks, everything you need to know about using the Dubai Metro is here
What are the train running times?
Train run from 6am to 11pm, Saturday to Thursday and from 2pm to midnight on Fridays. During Ramadan, train times are from 6am to midnight, Saturday to Thursday and 2pm to midnight on Fridays.
Is there a ladies-only compartment on the train?
Yes, there is dedicated compartment for ladies and children only, but ladies can also travel in other compartments on the train.
How long I have to wait for the arrival of trains at the station? Metro passengers will not have to wait for trains for a long time as the train will arrive at a station with an interval of initially 10 minutes. However, the train headway will be reduced to three to four minutes during peak hours by 2010.
How long do the train doors remain open?
The train doors are synchronised with the platform glass screen doors and they will remain open from 15 to 20 seconds and the time can be extended during peak hours.
How many trains have been procured?
A total of 87 five-car trains purchased from Kinki Sharyo for the Red and Green Lines. It includes 62 for the Red Line and 25 for the Green Line ABOUT
Fares and tickets
What is a ‘Nol Card’?
The Nol Card is a unified automated fare collection card (UAFC) introduced by the RTA as part of its new unified fare collection system for all modes of transports. There are four categories of Nol Cards. Nol is an old Persian word, which means ‘tariff’ or ‘fare’. It was previously used in the UAE to mean ‘fare’, but is not in common use these days. Can the Nol Card be used on buses as well? Nol cards can be used for all modes of transport including the metro, buses and water transport. At later stage, it will be used for parking as well.
How much is the fare?
Fares for the Dubai Metro range from a minimum Dh1.8 to a maximum Dh6.5 for a single journey, depending on the distance covered. The passengers will be able to use public buses and the metro with the same fare to complete their journey. (see fare chart)
Can children travel free and is there any discount for students and senior citizens?
Yes, children up to five-year-old and up to 90 cm tall can travel free of charge. People with special needs, the elderly and senior citizens (60 years and above) and students will receive special discounted fares. (Please check the fare list.)
Are there any monthly passes for unlimited travel?
Commuters have various ticket options for riding Metro trains. They can buy single journey tickets ranging from Dh2 to Dh6.5, daily passes for Dh14 and monthly passes ranging from Dh100, Dh180 and Dh270 depending on their journey plans. These passes will be launched in phases until December 2009.
What happens if I damage or lose my ticket?
You are responsible for your ticket, so if you lose your ticket then you might have to pay a fine. For a damaged ticket, the station agent will examine the ticket. If it is damaged deliberately then you will have to pay a fine if you are in the paid area, but if ticket is faulty then you can go to ticket office to get it replaced.
How far ahead can I purchase a ticket?
If you buy a Nol Red ticket, you have to use it within 90 days and this will be calculated from the date of purchase of your ticket. But other types of tickets such as Nol Silver Card, Nol Golden Card and Nol Blue Card are valid for five years. All you need to do is top up your account.
Can I purchase a ticket on the train?
No, all tickets must be purchased before travel and are available from ticket offices, dedicated outlets and ticket vending machines.
Will bus travel be free if you pay for the Metro trip?
Yes, there is only one fare to complete the journey using the Metro and bus or either of them. A passenger can take a free trip on the bus if he gets into the bus within 30 minutes of alighting from the Metro and vice versa.
How do I check-in and check-out on buses using my Nol Card?
When you enter a bus you need to touch your card onto the Nol card reader, located near the Bus driver. When you exit the bus, you also need to touch your card on the reader. The system will check that your card has a valid travel pass, calculate the fare for the trip you have just taken and deduct that amount from your e-purse, or deduct one trip from your card, whichever the case may be. If you do not check-out, the system will always deduct the maximum fare, so you should always remember to check-out.
Can I travel by bus and the metro with the same card?
Yes. A Nol Card can be used on all modes of travel. But, with a Nol Red Ticket you cannot change modes of travel using the same ticket. So it can only be used for Bus only or Metro only.
How can I check the remaining balance of my card?
The balance of your Nol Card will be shown when you check-in / check-out on Metro and buses. You can also view it from any ticket vending machine, ticket office, and authorised sales agents. Soon, you will be able to check it online by visiting www.nol.ae
How is the balance deducted from the card?
Fare is deducted when a Nol Card is tapped on a card reader located at the exit gates of the metro gates, bus and the water bus after completing the journey.
When should I use a Nol Card and when should I use a Nol Red Ticket?
Cards are ideal for you if you are a frequent traveller or wish to travel across different modes of transport using a single card. Tickets are ideal for visitors and occasional travellers.
Do you offer group discounts?
No, the Metro does not offer group discounts Will you accept credit cards for payment of tickets? Yes, credit cards will be accepted.
How can I amend my ticket?
All tickets are issued as non changeable but you can pay excess fare. For example, if you have travelled more than the value of your Nol Red Ticket, you will have to pay the difference at the end of your journey. But, the fare will automatically be deducted from Nol Silver, Nol Gold and Nol Blue cards.
Are the tickets refundable?
A Nol Red Ticket is non-refundable unless it is faulty but all other cards are refundable.
How long will it take to get my refund?
Cash refunds are on the same day but for the Credit/Debit Card refunds, the RTA will contact the customer within seven days of request.
Can I still use cash to travel?
You will not be able to use cash to pay for Bus, Metro and Water Bus. You have to buy Nol Red Ticket or Nol Card before riding any of these transport means.
How do Nol Cards and Tickets Work?
A Nol Card is a contactless smart card. You just hold your Nol Card over a Nol Card reader, and the reader is able to automatically validate the card, and deduct a trip or deduct the correct fare for the journey taken.
About feeder buses
What is a ‘feeder bus’?
A feeder bus service is dedicated to feeding Dubai Metro stations, enabling passengers to reach the stations from the nearby communities. Its route number starts with the letter ‘F’.
Where can I get a ‘feeder bus’ to reach the Metro station?
Almost every metro station is served with feeder buses, which will carry passengers to communities around the stations. Buses are available every 10 minutes on every station. Electronic boards inside the stations will be used to inform passengers about the arrival and departure of buses.
Is car parking free for Metro users?
Yes, car parking for Dubai Metro users will be free at the three designated parking lots including one each at Al Rashidiya, Al Qusais and Nakheel Harbour and Tower Stations. Parking at these parking lots will be Dh10 per hour and Dh50 per day for those not using the Metro. Roadside parking in paid parking zones is not free.
Can people not travelling on the metro use the pedestrian bridges linked to the Metro stations?
Yes, pedestrian bridges at Metro stations can be used by all even if they are not using the Metro and they will remain open round the clock.
What about medical facilities?
More than 700 Metro staff members are trained in providing first aid and medical assistance. They have been trained as the first emergency response team in case of any emergency. Will food be available at stations? Yes, only fast food and drinks (not alcohol) will be available at the outlets inside the station. But eating and drinking is not allowed inside the trains and in prohibited areas at stations.
Can I carry a bicycle on the train?
Bicycles and big luggage are not allowed inside the trains.
Are there passenger pick-up and drop-off areas at the station?
Yes, there are pick up and drop off areas for passengers at every station.
Are there taxi ranks at the station?
Yes, taxis will be available at all the stations. The RTA has built special taxi ranks at every station.
What should I do in case of an emergency while travelling on the Metro?
Stay calm and call 8009090 or 999. There is also a detailed evacuation plan in place for Dubai Metro passengers in case of an emergency. There is an evacuation point on an average of every 700 metres. Stairs have been built to evacuate passengers from the elevated tracks while similar arrangements have been made to help passengers exit from tunnels.
What kind of outlets are at the stations?
Dubai Metro stations have been designed serve as mini shopping centre as they have food outlets, convenience stores, airline booking and travel offices, ATMs and even bank counters. There will also be vending machines for soft drinks, newspapers and Metro tickets/cards.
Do passengers have access to train tracks?
No, there will be no room for passengers to jump onto the track as every platform on the Dubai Metro station is protected with glass screen doors. The screen doors will be synchronised with the train doors as they will open and close simultaneously to allow passengers to ride a train. These doors will not only ensure safety of passengers but also ensure proper air-conditioning at the stations.
What is the first train station if I am coming from Abu Dhabi? Jebel Ali Free Zone Station (Jafza) is the first station for passengers coming from Abu Dhabi. However, they can park their cars free at the Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station and take the Metro.
What is the nearest station if I am coming from Sharjah and other Northern Emirates?
Al Rashidiya metro station on the Red Line is the most suitable station for commuters, especially using their cars as it has a free car park. However, they can also take the train from GGICO Station (Al Garhoud), Deira City Centre, Al Rigga Street Station and the Union Square Station. Once the Green Line is launched in June 2010, the nearest station will be Al Qusais with a free car park.
What should I do if I experience a problem using one of the ticket vending machines?
Dubai Metro Staff will be able to assist you with your problem.
Do I get internet access inside trains and at the stations?
There will be WiFi internet access and mobile phone coverage through the Metro track and stations including the underground parts of the Metro.
Is there any facility for left luggage at the stations?
There are no facilities for left luggage at the station. There are, however, on board temporary storage facilities that can be utilised while travelling between stations to your destination.
Will there be prayer rooms made available for the public? Due to the size of the stations, there are no provision for prayers made for the public.
Are there washrooms/toilets available at the stations?
Yes, all the stations have washroom / toilet facilities for the public and special needs people.
Safety on trains and at stations
I have lost an item of property who do I contact/where do I go?
If you have lost an item of property please speak to a member of Dubai Metro Staff in the first instance, alternatively please contact the Customer Care Centre on 800 -90 -90.
What should I do if there is an emergency on board the train and I am unable to locate a staff member?
If you are unable to locate a member of staff, please proceed to the emergency call point located inside the vehicle. When activated, you will be able to communicate with our staff at the operations control centre . They will be able to assist and advise you.
What should I do if there is an emergency on the station and I cannot find any staff members?
In the unlikely event that you are unable to locate a member of staff, please proceed to the emergency call box located on all platforms, this will give you direct access to the Operating Control Centre where staff will be able to assist and advise you.
Will I be safe as a woman travelling alone or with my small children?
Yes, there is round the clock access control system while the whole Metro network including the trains and stations will be monitored by 3,000 CCTV cameras and specially trained security staff. There is also provision of women and children only compartment.
Is the train safe to ride as we see a lot of swerving curves in the track?
Yes, the Metro is designed to meet international safety standards and its safety is assessed by an Independent Safety Assessor (ISA). Safety design features provided by the automatic train control system include an automatic train supervision system, automatic train protection system and automatic train operations system. The Metro can run up and down the track safely and up to three to four per cent gradient while the passengers will not feel the ride.