RTA stays mum on Dubai Metro details

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    RTA chairman and executive director Mattar Al Tayer speaking this morning.
    RTA chairman and executive director Mattar Al Tayer speaking this morning.

    The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) refused to confirm this morning which of the 29 stations along the Red Line of Dubai Metro will be open when trains start running on September 9 this year (09-09-09).
    Chairman and executive director HE Mattar Al Tayer said that whether particular stations would be open in time or not still depended on the status of developments that run along the route of the line.

    “There would be no point in opening a station where there are no buildings finished,” Al Tayer said.

    “For example, if you go along Sheikh Zayed Road you will see a building under construction that is not yet finished, so why should I add to the operating cost [of the Metro]? I would rather wait three or four months until those buildings are finished.”

    Al Tayer revealed in March that not all stations would be open when trains started running along the Red Line, although they would be structurally complete.

    This morning’s comments came at an RTA press conference to announce the fare structure of the Metro and to launch the Nol card, a single card, to be issued in four types, that can be used to pay for Dubai Metro, Dubai Buses, Dubai Water Buses and paid parking meters.

    The fare structure was presented by RTA unified card department director Ramadan Abdullah.

    Under the fare structure, Dubai has been split into five zones, and fares for a single ride, dependant on distance travelled, will range from 80 fils to AED5.80, with special fares offered to students and the elderly.

    The fares compare favourably with the majority of cities across the globe that offer Metro services, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and New York, all of which were studies by the RTA.

    Al Tayer added that while he could not confirm the time span that fares would be applicable for, they would remain in place for a substantial period.

    “I don’t like to give a statement that I’m not sure of, but we do not set a decree and then change it within a year or two,” he said. “I’m sure the fares will be in place for some time.”

    It was also confirmed that Metro park and ride facilities would be free of charge for public transport users, but non-public transport users would be charged AED10 per hour or AED50 per day, to further encourage the use of public transport.

    The RTA stated that its goal is to get 30% of the population of Dubai commuting regularly via public transport.

    www.constructionweekonline.com     by Jamie Steward