By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter, Gulf News www.gulfnews.com
Dubai The Dubai Metro is fast becoming a mass transport system with around 35 per cent of commuters taking the train to work, said a senior official.
“It is no longer just a joy ride as around 30 to 35 per cent of passengers are using the Metro either to go to offices or work related trips,” said Peyman Younus Parham, a spokesperson of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
Once fully operational, the Metro is expected to ease the congestion on the roads. More than 3.49 million passengers have used the Metro in the first two months since its launch on September 9 with an average of 57,246 passengers taking the train daily.
Though a large number of people still use the Metro for leisure rides, many take the train to go shopping, leaving their cars at home.
“These figures are encouraging and show that the Metro and related modes of public transport are getting popular among commuters,” Parham said.
Another big change witnessed is that the commuters are fast learning ‘Metro etiquette’. “We have noticed that passengers have started queuing up and do not stand in front of the train doors. They also respect elderly and women by offering them seats,” said Parham.
Spin-off: Hotels also benefit
Hotels close to the Dubai Metro stations have started receiving an increasing number of guests. Guests, especially those from GCC countries, are specifically asking hotels about their proximity to Metro stations. The hotels have also included the Metro in their marketing campaigns.
“Our occupancy has improved a lot since the opening of the Metro stations in front of our property,” said Shahzad Butt of Chelsea Hotel, located near the Financial Centre Station on Shaikh Zayed Road.