Public transport ridership in Dubai hits 539 m riders in 2015



HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) revealed that public transport means in Dubai, comprising the metro, tram, buses and marine transit modes (abras, ferry, water taxi, water bus).

1In addition, the taxis (Dubai Taxi and franchise companies), have lifted in 2015 about 539.558 million riders compared with 531.350 million riders in 2014, according to information gathered by RTA’s Statistics Section. Al Tayer also revealed that the average daily ridership of public transport means in Dubai last year clocked about 1.5 million riders; which compares well with the average of 1.475 million riders recorded in 2014 and about 1.3 million riders back in 2013.

“December recorded the highest ridership rate of mass transit means with more than 48 million riders using public transport means. The breakdown of this number shows that 17.1 million riders used the Dubai Metro, 17.3 million riders used taxicabs, 11.8 million riders used buses, 1.4 million riders used marine transit modes, and 460 thousand riders used the Dubai Tram. December 31st, the eve of the New Year’s day, recorded the highest number of daily riders recording 1,859,320 riders,” said Al Tayer.

Record Numbers

“The metro red and green lines lifted last year 178.647 million riders compared with 164.307 million riders in 2014 and about 137.759 million riders back in 2013. The Red Line of the Dubai Metro saw a growing number of riders last year recording 112.7 million riders last year, compared with 104 million riders in 2014 and 89 million riders back in 2013. The Green Line lifted 65.942 million riders last year, compared with 60.289 million riders in 2014, and 48.873 million riders back in 2013. Last year, Dubai tram lifted 4.07 million riders,” explained Al Tayer.

“Public bus users clocked 134.775 million riders last year compared with 148.108 million riders in 2014, and 130.541 million riders back in 2013. Public bus routes services accounted for the lion share in the number of bus riders served last year recording 88.632 million riders, followed by Metro Stations Feeder Service recording 28.3 million riders, inter-city service reporting about 12 million riders, and bus rental service lifting about 5.9 million riders.

“The ridership of marine transit modes (comprising abras, water bus, water taxi, and ferry) recorded 14.426 million riders last year, compared with 13.26 million riders in 2014, and 13.223 million riders back in 2013. Abras accounted for the largest portion of users of marine transit modes ferrying about 13.783 million riders, and the remaining number was shared by the water bus, water taxi and ferry. Dubai Taxicabs (Dubai Taxi, Hala Taxi and franchise company taxis) made 103.789 million trips lifting about 207.578 million riders compared with 217.751 million riders in 2014, and 174.018 million riders back in 2013,” added Al Tayer.


“Comprising a full range of integrated services, the public transport network in Dubai has become the backbone of people’s mobility in various parts of the Emirate of Dubai. RTA’s efforts in this regard contributed to raising the numbers of public transport ridership across the board. The share of public transport in the mobility of people has leapfrogged from 6% in 2006 to 15% in 2015 and RTA is endeavouring to push it to as much as 20% by 2020, and 30% by 2030. Equally important, RTA has managed to transform the culture of various segments of the community and their attitudes towards using public transport. People have started to grasp and feel the benefits associated with the use of mass transit means such as the physical relief, peace of mind, financial saving, high safety, lower expenses of car usage in terms of fuel and maintenance among others,” noted Al Tayer.

Al Tayer was delighted with these indicators, which depict the effectiveness of plans and programs undertaken by RTA in providing a variety of options for moving people in Dubai. “The strategic and executive plans for roads and transport systems pursued by RTA are based on the principle of integrated services that translates into achieving smooth & accessible mobility in the Emirate.

They focus on providing integrated solutions in terms of improving and broadening roads network and crossings, upgrading various components of mass transit systems such as the metro, tram, buses and water transport means, enhancing the technology used in traffic & transport systems to ensure the optimal utilization and highest efficiency of roads and mass transit systems, adopting policies capable of reducing the semi total reliance of the public on private vehicles and increasing peoples’ reliance on other transit systems including public transport, and encouraging journey-sharing practices especially in a city like Dubai where the ownership of private vehicles is as high as one vehicle per two persons among the population,” he commented.

Massive Projects

“RTA is proceeding with efforts to make public transport systems the first choice in the mobility of peoples, be it citizens, residents or visitors, in their daily movement to work, home or just to have a time out. RTA has ambitious plans for upgrading roads infrastructure and mass transit systems, besides improving the efficiency of public transport, and broadening the delivery of smart services to the public. There are more than 35 mega projects the most important of them are designing and constructing public transport services for hosting Expo 2020 including the extension of the red line of the Dubai metro, upgrading roads & junctions leading to the site of Expo.

In addition, RTA are going to procure new trains to keep up with the sustained growth in the number of metro users in the lead up to 2020 such that passengers can have better services. RTA is also planning to broaden the coverage of public transport network to reach 16 new districts and improving the service in 19 others by 2020. It will also be focusing on upgrading marine transit modes, which are set to witness a breakthrough improvement in operations with the opening of the Dubai Water Canal linking the Business Bay with the Arabian Gulf. More info