Thousands leave cars, take Dubai Metro

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By Rayeesa Absal, Staff Reporter  www.gulfnews.com

Dubai: Thousands of residents, who normally use their private vehicles, chose public transportation Tuesday as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) celebrated Public Transport Day.

    *  Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News     * Commuters at Khalid Bin Al Waleed Metro Station wait for the train. Passengers rode the Metro, public buses and water taxis for free as part of the Roads and Transport Authority annual Public Transport Day.
* Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News * Commuters at Khalid Bin Al Waleed Metro Station wait for the train. Passengers rode the Metro, public buses and water taxis for free as part of the Roads and Transport Authority annual Public Transport Day.

Tuesday was the second edition of the Public Transport Day initiative, which commemorates the establishment of RTA, six years ago.

Held under the theme, Together We Move, all Nol card users enjoyed free rides on the metro, public buses and water bus for the day.

“We are very happy seeing the huge turnout. The support from the public shows that with constant efforts we will be able to popularise the culture of using public transport regularly,” Hussain Mohammad Al Banna, Director of Traffic Department at the RTA, told Gulf News yesterday evening at the packed Union Station.

The cultural events were crowd pullers, Al Banna added.

Meanwhile, two new Bus and Taxi Dedicated Lanes — including a one kilometre-long stretch of Naif Road from Al Musalla Road to Al Khaleej Road, and one kilometre of Al Ittihad Road in the direction from Sharjah to Dubai from the entry point of Dubai Emirate up to Al Nahda Interchange — were opened to traffic yesterday.

Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, said the transit times on the roads were slashed by half with the opening of these lanes.

“The operational cost of buses dropped by Dh10.4 million per month while the annual savings made in the passengers’ time was in the order of Dh104 million.”

The celebrations kicked off at the Al Gubaiba Metro station in Bur Dubai and the Union Station in Deira from 5 pm to 9 pm. It included heritage and folklore events (bazaar) in the open area in front of the stations, featuring participation of school students, foreign community clubs, presenters and artists. More info