By Matovu A. Twaha www.gulftoday.ae
The target to have 30 per cent of Dubai population using public transport by 2020 is on course, largely because of the results shown by the Metro ridership.
“Our strategy is to have 30 per cent of the population hitting public transport of which the Metro set to take a lion’s share of 17 per cent with the rest taking a 13 per cent share,” contended the chairman of the Board and Executive Director of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Mattar Al Tayer.
There are indicators for attaining this target. For example, when the RTA held a free ride during the Public Transport Day on Nov.1, the authorities were pleasantly surprised by the number that showed up.
“There was a 47 per cent rise in Metro ridership,” said the director of Rail Operation, RTA Rail Agency Ramadan Abdullah.
“We anticipate the number of Metro riders will reach 170,000 passengers per day by the end of 2010,” he said.
During the Public Transport Day offering, the public had a free ride on all public transit modes including the Metro, public buses and the water bus for 24 hours.
“The Metro lifted 206,000 passengers compared to 140,000 passengers on normal days.
“Such an increase in the ridership reveals that many people have taken the initiative to purchase Nol cards to experiment the use of public transport means, including the Metro. This is evidence of the growing culture of using public transport among residents of the Emirate.”
At a rate of 140,000 passengers per day, this makes it about 4,020,000 per month.
“This number is quite important when we take into consideration that the period of the Metro operation has yet to complete 15 months, so it says a lot to see all these passengers from all community segments, whether residents or visitors, taking to this mass transport mode; which also reflects the associated benefits that contribute to diffusion of using public transport culture among the public,” Abdullah added.