By Ashfaq Ahmed gulfnews.com
Commuters in Dubai are learning fast about etiquette of using public transport especially the Metro which was introduced in the city only about 17 months ago, according to a senior official.
“There has been marked improvement in the Metro passengers’ awareness level about using the stations, ticketing gates, and embarking and disembarking the trains,” said Ramadan Abdullah, Director of Operations at the Rail Agency of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
However, he said there is still need for more awareness as there have been some incidents of some people pushing the emergency buttons leading to disruption in the train operations.
“There have also been some incidents of harassment of women, fights among passengers in addition to heated arguments with Metro inspectors on issuing of fines,” said Abdullah when asked about general behaviour of passengers.
But, he noted that the incidence of crimes on the Metro are very less as they have recorded only three incidents of crime out of one million passengers and they are also of very minor nature.
The RTA survey of the Metro users shows that most Metro users are well -educated people. Some 63 per cent of them hold bachelor’s degree, around 10 per cent master’s degree, 15 per cent are diploma holders while 12 per cent possesses high school certificates.
“Continuous education campaigns have helped improve the passengers’ outlook towards public transport as commuters are now more confident about using the Metro,” he said.
Abdullah also advised passengers to inform the security or the Metro staff in case of any complaints as they are trained to resolve issues to ensure safe and smooth journey for all passengers. He said that no one can escape any untoward incident as all the stations and trains are closely monitored by the close circuit cameras.
Abdullah said that the number of fines being issued to the Metro passengers has reduced compared to the increasing number of passengers. The RTA figures show that passengers are mainly fined for smoking, eating and drinking and using the VIP compartment while holding economy class tickets. There have also been some incidents of vandalism and trespassing.
There have also been complaints about lack of information and staff attitude. “We take such complaints very seriously and do hold refresher courses and also make sure that adequate information should be available for passengers,” he said.
On an average, around 170,000 commuters are using the Metro every day while there were 140,000 just a few months ago. The RTA’s target is to have more than 190,000 passengers using the Metro every day by the end of this year.
- November 2010: 520 fines out of 4.3 million passengers
- December 2010: 571 out of 4.6 million passengers
- January 2011: 680 out of 4.68 million passengers
- February 2010: 570 fines out of 3.1 million (until Feb 19)
General rules of using the Metro
- Do not crowd and obstruct walkways in the stations
- Stand aside and let arriving passengers alight before you board
- Do not attempt to board once the doors are closing.
- Do not run to get into the train and wait for the next train.
- If standing, hold on to one of the handrails to avoid falling
- Please give up you seat to the elderly or to those in greater need
- Do not use the emergency call points and emergency stop buttons without any real emergency
- Touch your card to the card reader machine and walk through briskly
- Do not loiter within the gate area
- Please carry the children under five to avoid the gates closing on them.
- Do not run on the stations to catch trains