By Aarti Nagraj www.kippreport.com
The Dubai Metro transported 367,000 passengers during its first week in operation, and crossed the one million mark by the end of its first 15 days. But despite its popularity, the system has been facing constant problems; overcrowded stations, platform doors not opening, and frequent delays.
Although the ticket process is quite simple, several passengers were confused with the card system. And in the first week, the train even skipped stopping at some of the stations because, apparently, they were too crowded.
The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has blamed inexperienced passengers for causing many of the problems. They said that some of the passengers on the train pushed the emergency button, which made the trains stop and led to unnecessary delays.
Around 20 percent of our respondents also agree, saying that trains are overloaded with inexperienced passengers. With most of the stations not open as yet, commuters are using the metro for joyrides and not out of necessity. And the Dubai Metro being the first of its kind in the region, it is a new experience for many people. It has even become a vital part of the itinerary for tourists.
But 27 percent of our respondents blame the RTA for the problems; according to them, all these issues should have been resolved before the metro was launched. The trains did go on several trail runs, but, looks like, the glitches which the metro is currently facing now were not encountered.
However, the metro has only been running for a month, and the majority our poll respondents – 45 percent – believe that the issues will settle down in a month or two.
While Kipp agrees that these issues may only be teething problems, we are still wondering how some of the other more permanent problems will get resolved; for instance, the fact that there are only two access machines at one of the metro’s most popular stops – the Mall of The Emirates station. How are they going to deal with the serpentine queues during rush hour?
But it seems that questions like that are not bothering some people; 8 percent of our respondents are still wondering what problems we are talking about.