Dubai: All mass transit projects, including additional metro lines announced by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), will be implemented after studying the needs of the respective areas, a senior official said.
“We have not shelved the future Dubai Metro lines project, but it will be carried out after re-evaluating the need of the city and keeping in mind the developments in the areas to be served by the metro system,” Engineer Abdul Redah Abu Al Hassan, Director of Planning and Development at the RTA’s Rail Agency, said.
Speaking to Gulf News after his presentation titled ‘The Opportunities and Challenges Facing the Light Rail Developers in Today’s Economic Climate’ at the Mena Rail 2009 conference in Dubai, Al Hassan said that the Purple Line will be the next metro line to be launched in Dubai as was announced last year.
“We have completed its design and are ready for tendering, but we will start construction only after completing fresh studies regarding the development projects,” he said, quashing rumours that the project has been shelved.
The Purple Line will connect Dubai International Airport with Al Maktoum International Airport being constructed in Jebel Ali and it will run on Al Khail Road.
“The government is committed and even during the current global economic down turn, we have awarded a contract to consultant to finalise the design for the metro line extension from Jaddaf to International City,” he said
The RTA is currently constructing the 74.6 km long Dubai Metro project at an initial cost of Dh15.5 billion. The Red Line is set to open on September 9 this year while the Green Line will open in March next year.
Al Hassan said the RTA’s Rail transit masterplan includes 320 km of metro lines and 270 km of tram lines up to 2020 to cater to the expected 3.3 million population of the city. Out of this 74.6 km of metro is already under construction while the construction on the first phase of Al Sufouh Tram has already started early this year.
He said the city would have 450-km of water transport serving the coastal and off-shore developments and a comprehensive network of 3000 buses by 2020 to have integrated system of mass transport.
“We want to achieve the target of 30 per cent of people using public transport once the a complete mass public transport systems is in place,” he said, adding that the current ratio of just 6 per cent people using public transport is very low.
Once the public transport system is in place, the RTA will implement its proposals of introducing congestion charges and increasing parking and vehicle registration fees.
“These proposals are still under study,” Al Hassan explained.
www.gulfnews.com By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter