Two years on, the journey continues

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By Shafaat Ahmed  www.khaleejtimes.com

Surpassing the Road and Transport Authority’s (RTA) annual target of 35 million passengers, Dubai Metro has transported 84.2 million passengers in the first two years of its operation.

Celebrating its second anniversary with the launch of a second line, the network is expected to further grow in popularity with an expected daily ridership of well above 250,000.

The 23km Green Line will be inaugurated today by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The line will open for public on Saturday, September 10, from 6am onwards.

World’s largest driverless rail network, Metro is a symbol of Dubai’s drive to be a truly global city. And coming at a time when the world economy is still reeling from the effects of economic recession, it will surely send right signals to those it matters.

“The completion of the vital Dubai Metro project culminates the continual support and attention of Shaikh Mohammed to uplift the infrastructure of Dubai, and epitomises RTA Strategic Plan, which is aligned with the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015, aimed at providing integrated roads and transit systems, while ensuring smooth mobility and highest safety levels,” said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of RTA, in a statement on the eve of Green Line’s inauguration.

Completed at an estimated cost of Dh28 billion, the rail network is one of the biggest infrastructure projects taken up in the region and has already inspired many regional cities.

With fares being one of the  lowest in the world and many special passes launched by RTA recently, Metro has made commuting cheaper and easier for common man, while also reducing traffic congestion and parking woes.

True to its moto, the journey so far has been smooth as well as safe, with only minor glitches reported occasionally. The RTA’s three sprawling depots and maintenance centres – two for Red Line and one for Green Line – which can together accommodate around 150 trains, have set world class maintenance standards, ensuring that the trains are in perfect shape all the time, every day.

shafaat@khaleejtimes.com