By Shafaat Ahmed www.khaleejtimes.com
DUBAI – The much-speculated extension of the Green Line of Dubai Metro, which began its operations last month, is a certainty with plans to stretch it up to the Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) soon, a senior Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) official told Khaleej Times.
The line, which currently runs between Al Qusais and Al Jaddaf, is expected to snake through Al Warqa, Ras Al Khor, Silicon Oasis and end at the DIAC, where around 30,000 students would benefit from the metro.
The announcement was made by Eisa Al Dossari, CEO of the RTA’s Public Transport Agency, as he launched a campaign to encourage students to use public transport at the Dubai Men’s College which is located next to the DIAC.
He said: “The RTA is continuously coming up with initiatives to encourage every segment of the society to use public transport as it is more efficient, eco-friendly as well as a safer option when compared to private vehicles. We are running this campaign to get students on board the metro and buses and show them how convenient it is. The free transport day on November 1 is an ideal opportunity for them to try it out.”
The RTA celebrates Public Transport Day on November 1 every year, on which all nol card holders can ride free on metro, buses and water buses as many times as they want. The initiative is aimed at encouraging those who have not used public transport before to come and check it out.
However, when reminded that the DIAC, where the campaign would run for two days before moving on to other universities, is not very well connected with public transport — as only bus route 365 connects the area with Rashidiya metro station — Al Dossari said: “We’re carrying out surveys and are planning to come up with a number of routes that will connect the DIAC with different areas of the city starting from next year.” He also said: “We are also planning to extend the Green Line up to the DIAC and work is currently at the planning stage. We know more than 30,000 students travel back and forth to this area and the metro would greatly benefit them.”
As part of the public transport campaign, the RTA would visit six different universities and encourage students to use public transport. However, not many seemed impressed.
Though there were many curious first-timers who were enquiring about various RTA facilities there were only a handful takers to the free bus tour provided at the Dubai Men’s College as part of the campaign.
Ahmed Ali, a first-timer on the bus said he has a silver and a gold card and he has travelled on the metro on a few occasions, “but this is my first time on a bus, it is nice but it is not convenient for me as I live in Al Quoz and there is no bus or metro connectivity between my college and Al Quoz. I have got my licence and I prefer driving.”
Another student, Mohammed Zahabi also said: “Using public transport to travel to college is not possible as there is only one bus route that comes to this area and that is not convenient. As I don’t drive I share a car with one of my friends.” More info