By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter www.gulfnews.com
Dubai: The signalling and safety systems for the long- awaited Green Line of Dubai Metro are now being tested as part of a trial run.
A Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) spokesman said: “We have completed the train tracks on the Green Line and are doing trial runs with empty trains to test the line.”
He said the contractors were now focused on finishing stations on the line, and that work was proceeding at a good pace.
The Green Line will be Dubai Metro’s second track. At present just the Red Line is in operation.
Once both are up and running, the driverless, automatic train system will have a total length of 76km.
The existing 52.1km Red Line links areas from Al Rashidiya to Jebel Ali Free Zone. The 23km Green Line will run from Al Qusais, near Emirates Road, to Al Jaddaf, near Business Bay Crossing, covering the congested central business district areas of Deira and Bur Dubai.
The Red Line opened on September 9, 2009, while the Green Line is expected to open in August 2011, according to the revised plans. The Green Line was expected to open in March this year.
“We hope to have the line ready much before the opening date,” the RTA spokesman said.
The Green Line has 18 stations — 12 elevated and six underground. Union Square and Khalid Bin Al Waleed underground stations are transfer stations where the Green and Red Lines cross. Once the Green Line opens, these stations will allow passengers to change trains. Some 7.9km of the 23km Green Line is underground.
As many as 17 trains will run on the Green Line while the total number of trains on the two lines will be 79, including 62 on the Red Line once the system is fully operational.
There will also be a parking lot for about 3,000 vehicles at Al Qusais Metro Station on the Green Line. Dubai Metro, which will cost the RTA around Dh28 billion, is part of the department’s plans to create a comprehensive public transport system, seeking to limit the use of private vehicles.
The RTA said its massive public transport project has already begun to yield results as more than 23 million passengers had used the Metro since its opening last September. “A larger number of people are using public transport, whenever and wherever possible, leaving their cars at home,” said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of RTA.
The average number of passengers per day on the Metro has increased from 35,000 last year to 110,000. The Metro’s daily record of 130,529 passengers was registered on July 1.