By Mark Byrnes http://www.theatlanticcities.com
Four years ago, the Dubai metro hosted its first morning commuters. It was not smooth sailing — one train malfunctioned, leaving passengers stranded for two hours.
Things have gotten better since then. The 46.5 mile, self-driving system (it still employs humans to supervise the train in case of emergency) currently has two lines (Red and Green) and 44 stations. Three more lines (Blue, Purple, Gold) are under consideration.
The system carried 109.5 million passengers in 2012, a substantial increase of 40 million from the previous year, thanks in part to the Green line’s late 2011 debut. It’s currently the world’s longest, self-driving metro system.
The city’s love of private vehicles (the fancier the better) and history of discrimination created marketing issues for the system. How do you convince wealthy, skeptical citizens that a ride on the Dubai Metro could be exquisite? Here’s their answer: A promotional video that equates using the new rail system to driving a Porsche with your sunglasses on through a lightly trafficked road, or being a soaring bird of prey, More info and video