RTA defers opening of Dubai Metro stations

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By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter  www.gulfnews.com

Dubai: The opening of Dubai Metro stations on the Red Line has once again been revised as seven more stations will open on April 30 and three additional ones on May 15.

    *  Up to 12 new Metro trains will be pressed into service and seven new stations will be opened on April 30 and three on May 15.     * Image Credit: Illustration: Guillermo Munro, Gulf News
* Up to 12 new Metro trains will be pressed into service and seven new stations will be opened on April 30 and three on May 15. * Image Credit: Illustration: Guillermo Munro, Gulf News

The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) officially announced Saturday that the opening of the seven stations has been delayed by at least five days as the stations will now open on April 30 instead of the earlier announced date of April 25.

Also, at least two stations including GGICO (in Al Garhoud) and the World Trade Centre, which were earlier part of the batch of seven stations opening at the end of this month, will now be opened in May.

The revised list of seven stations, which will start receiving passengers on April 30, include: Emirates, Airport Terminal 1, Al Karama, Emirates Towers, Dubai Internet City, Marina and Ibn Battuta.

“At least three stations including Al Quoz, GGICO and the World Trade Centre will be operational from May 15 while the rest of the stations will be opened in coming months,” said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA.

He said the consortium undertaking the Dubai Metro Project is set to complete all work on the remaining 18 stations on the Red Line by April 25 but the stations will be opened keeping in mind demand of particular areas.

“Stations have been selected based on the extent of population density in the locality served by each station so as to provide convenient services to the inhabitants in the neighbourhood,” he added.

Al Tayer added: “The RTA has carried out site surveys for the neighbourhood of the Dubai Metro stations opening shortly and accordingly opened up new bus routes to feed the stations.”

More trains

With the opening of the 10 new stations, the number of trains will also be increased from the existing 12 to 24. The Red Line will have at least 44 trains by the end of this year with the launch of all the 29 stations.

At least 28 new feeder buses are being deployed to link the new Metro stations with the surrounding areas.

The Metro has carried 13.68 million people since its launch on September 9 last year and on an average 80,000 passengers take the Metro every day. “These numbers are set to rise with the opening of the new stations and we expect to carry 35 million passengers by the end of 2010,” he added.

Al Tayer said the huge investments by the Government of Dubai in the transportation sector infrastructure has paid dividends.

“The increase in the number of mass transit mode users reflects improvement in the culture of using public transport by all segments of the community and the drive was particularly helped by the Metro service.”

The RTA revealed that public transport including the Metro, public buses, water transport and taxis carried more than 288.777 million passengers in 2009 and the daily load on mass transit modes topped 842,000 passengers.