Residents Await Finer Details

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    SHARJAH — As the Dh15.5-billion Dubai Metro gears up for its first maiden run along the Red Line from September 9 this year, a majority of residents of Sharjah, though an excited lot, have a lot of queries in mind. 

     

     

    With the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) constructing two huge parking lots, one at Rashidiya and the other at Al Qusais, where motorists can park their vehicles and carry on with their journey on the Metro, motorists in Sharjah don’t seem to be very much interested.

    Those without cars, however, want to try the new transport mode, but are in doubt when it comes to the fares, the waiting time at the stations and long queues at the ticket stands.

    The two car parks are being specially built to cater to the needs of the people living in the Northern Emirates.

    Khaleej Times talked to many residents who shared their doubts and queries.

    Akram Sheikh, an executive working in Dubai Media City and lives in Ajman, said, “I really don’t think I will use the Metro.

    The reason for this is the time factor. I first have reach to any of the two car parks, then park my car, provided I find a space, then stand in a queue for tickets and wait for the train. How do I reach my office after I get out of the station? I know there are feeder buses but then the whole thing sounds very time consuming. I am better off using my car and head straight to my work place.”

    Murtaza Bharmal, who also owns a car, said the same. “I really think it is going to consume a lot of time.

    We still don’t have a clear idea about the train intervals, the details about the parking facility, whether it will be a paid one or not and a lot of other things. What if I don’t get parking (space) and have to spend hours looking for one. If it is a paid facility, I really want to know about the charges.

    Then getting into a feeder bus to reach the workplace is again time consuming. Driving my car is a better deal.” Sadia Sheraz, a housewife, said she is looking forward to Dubai Metro. “Why not? It is going to save a lot of money.

    The taxi fares in Sharjah have gone very high. The Metro fares are expected to be less and economical and it will be an easy ride. I am really looking forward to it,” she said.

    Adnan Ahmed, a Sharjah resident working in Jebel Ali, said using a metro train is out of question for him. “My workplace, which is situated in far off Jebel Ali, has no Metro station for miles. So there is no question. Moreover, reaching Rashidiya or Al Qusais battling the traffic and then taking a metro (train) does not sound practical. Once reaching Dubai, it takes less than 20 minutes to reach Shaikh Zayed Road as traffic in Dubai has decreased.

    Why should people take the metro then? If the lines were extended to Sharjah, people might use it very well.”

    Animesh Rajput, whose office is beside Shaikh Zayed Road, said, “Taking a cab from Sharjah to Dubai costs me at least Dh60 everyday now. Why shouldn’t I just take a cab to Qusais station or the Rashidiya station, which will cost me somewhere around Dh15, and then take the metro to my workplace? I will be able to save a lot of money through this. The metro is always a better option.”

    Shahzad Ahmed, another Sharjah resident, said, “People with cars will not be very much interested to use the metro service.

    But for me, who doesn’t have a personal vehicle, it is nothing less than a boon as the taxi fares are so very high now.

    And buses take a very long time to reach Dubai.

    I will use the metro and am looking forward to it,” he said.

    Hasan Raza, who works in the Dubai Airport Terminal-2, said, “People living in Sharjah who don’t have their own vehicles like me are looking forward to it. One must appreciate the government of Dubai for being so very considerate for the people and developing such a service.

    We hope that the fares will be economical so that people of all classes can use it without any problems,” he said.

    Arlen, who works in Mega Mall in Sharjah, also said she will be riding the metro.

    “Whenever I will be Dubai, I will take the metro because it will be faster and (is) expected to be cheap.”

    joy@khaleejtimes.com Joy Sengupta www.khaleejtimes.com