RTA encourages residents to park car, use Metro

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By Matovu Abdallah Twaha  gulftoday.ae

Authorities from Dubai’s public transport are choosing to take a soft line in channeling people to public transport by placing adverts, highlighting the availability of thousands of parking spaces at some Metro stations, rather than stiffening licencing procedures.

Dubai metro“Drop the car. Free park and ride. Using the Metro is easier than ever,” goes a line in the local media.

“With over 5,700 parking spaces at Nakheel Harbour and Tower and Rashidiya stations, you can just leave your car behind. Along with the traffic.”

At the Rashidiya depot, the parking building has 2,700 spaces while Nakheel and Harbour accommodate parking spaces for 3,000 cars. Once the Green Line opens in September, the 3,000 parking space in Al Qusais will be available.

By choosing the approach of “appealing” to the potential passengers, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has done what many people may not have thought.

The transportation body was frequently asked whether they would not put in place stringent measures such as a legislation to draw people away from their cars.

Some residents however said they’re drawn to the Metro and buses for reasons more than parking space.

“I find it cheap to go by Metro. Yes, I have a car, but to move from my residential area near the Internet City to the Mall of Emirates I go by Metro which costs me less than Dhs7 for both ways, whereas going by taxi costs me Dhs24. It is cheaper and indeed faster,” said Abdul Wahab Ali.

However, another resident of the same area who works in Sharjah, pointed out that “because there is a lack of connection points with Sharjah, I have little option but to use my car.”

“But when I am not heading to Sharjah, I usually use the Metro. Each time I ride, I get fond of it,” Sharifah Hassan said.

Mattar Al Tayer, chairman of the Board and Executive Director of RTA said that the number of Metro users is likely to increase considerably with the opening of the Green Line in September.”The RTA has made strenuous efforts to upgrade mass transit systems in Dubai and to make them the first choice of commuters within the Emirate. One of the core objectives of the RTA is to reduce the use of private vehicles and increase the use of mass transit means from six per cent in 2009 to as much as 30 per cent in 2020,” said Al Tayer.