Metro Green Line gaining ground

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By Shafaat Ahmed www.khaleejtimes.com

Dubai Metro transported 5.9 million passengers last month, its high-est monthly average in two years, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) reported on Wednesday.

Commuters boarding a Green Line train at the Union Square station.
Commuters boarding a Green Line train at the Union Square station.

Metro ridership shot up last month following the launch of the Green Line, the second arm on the rail network that stretches 23km between Al Qusais and Al Jaddaf. The Green Line served 1.277 million passengers in 20 days from Septem-ber 10 when it opened for public, while 4.661 million passengers used the Red Line last month.

The Green Line served 1.277 million passengers in 20 days from September 10 when it opened for public, while 4.661 million passengers used the Red Line last month.

The number puts the daily average for Green Line just over 50,000 passengers, while it is around 160,000 for the Red Line.

Speaking to Khaleej Times about the response to the Green Line, the CEO of the RTA’s Rail Agency, Adnan Al Hammadi, said: “The Green Line has received better reception than the Red Line did in the initial few days of its launch and we are happy about it. A daily average of 50,000 is much higher than what we expected in the first few weeks.”

He added that the most important development following the launch of the Green Line is that people are using both lines to reach their destinations.

“The fact that around 30 per cent of the metro riders use the transfer service from one line to another is a heartening fact for us and we hope it will improve further as the time goes on,” enthused Al Hammadi.

Running through the heart of the city as the Green Line does, a lot of residents have started to use metro, leaving their cars behind, avoiding the notoriously clogged streets of Dubai’s Central Business Districts (CBD).

Hilmy Al Shai is one such Emirati rider, who travels from Rashidiya, where he lives, to  Al Ras, where he works, on the metro five days a  week. And importantly, he feels it is a big blessing.

Engrossed in his tablet, Al Shai travels in the comfort of Gold Class and feels the time spend going up and down on the metro is one of his best in the day.

“I used to travel in the car daily and it used to be a nerve-wracking experience. To drive a car in the Al Ras-Bur Dubai region requires a lot of patience and skill. Everyday, I used to lose my cool and so much of time as well. Now, my travel time is cut short by half and I spend time on my tablet, reading or browsing,” said Al Shai, visibly relieved.

Though not a first class traveller, Mohammed Nayeem is also a new metro user. He used to travel back and forth seven days a week using a car lift service between Gold Souq and Mall of the Emirates where he  works.

“I tried the metro as soon as the Green Line was launched and I found it comfortable and relieving. I stopped the car lift service immediately and ever since, I have been travelling on the metro. I have to change trains at Khalid bin Walid but I don’t find it a hassle as it doesn’t take more than five minutes to jump from one to another,” Nayeem, who is  a cashier in a money exchange. More info