Green Line on track to open in September

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By Elizabeth Broomhall  www.arabianbusiness.com

Dubai Metro’s Green Line will be completed in August and is expected to open to passengers in September, a senior official at the emirate’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said.

Dubai metro Green line“The Green Line will be completed in August this year,” Abdul Younes, CEO for strategy and corporate governance, told Arabian Business. “We might open the line around September. We do not know what date exactly. The pricing structure will be the same as the Red Line; everything will be the same.”

The metro’s second line, originally slated for completion in April 2010, was reported last month to have been pushed back to the last quarter of 2011 as construction delays slowed progress.

In March, the RTA said it would slash staff and daily train services at the metro in a bid to trim costs by around AED7.5m ($2.04m). The same cutbacks would apply to the Green Line, the authority said, to achieve estimated savings of AED47m.

On completion, the Green Line will have 18 stations spanning 22.5 km, and will run through heavily populated areas such as Deira and Bur Dubai.

Of the 18 stations on the Green Line, 12 are to be elevated and six will be underground stations.

The line is expected to handle as many as 22,000 passengers per hour.

In November of 2010, RTA officials said that they were considering extending the Green Line by a further 20 kilometres so as to link it to Dubai’s Academic City.

If approved, the plan will benefit thousands of students and staff at the education development, which is set to have 40,000 students by the end of 2015.

Initial plans for the Dubai Metro included the Blue and Purple lines, which were approved for construction before the credit crunch slowed transport projects in the emirate. Younes said there were no immediate plans to resurrect the additional tracks.

“No new lines are being planned for the time being,” he said, adding that the lines were still in the RTA’s long term plans.

The authority said in January it would seek private funding for 30 percent of its largest projects until 2015, in a bid to spread the cost and risk associated with large developments.

Last month, Dubai unveiled a plan to raise financing backed by future Salik road-toll receipts, a programme said to have received at least $1bn in bids after just four weeks.