Why Dubai Loves the Metro

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KT Online Team  www.khaleejtimes.com

More than a month after the Dubai Metro took to the tracks, the city’s residents have given their resounding approval to the new mode of public transport.

According to the Dubai Metro Survey conducted by Khaleej Times Online,  approximately 70 per cent of the 1900 respondents said that they were happy with the frequency of services on the Red Line, though a lot of them were in favour of extending the Metro timings beyond the 11pm deadline.

“The current timings do not permit people who wish to go and watch a movie or have dinner with friends at the weekend to leave their cars at home,” says Clare in her reaction to the survey. “I think the Metro should run with the last train leaving at 11pm (Sat-Wednesday) and the last train leaving on at 1am or 1:30am (Thu-Fri),” she adds. “Frequency of the Metro can be dropped to 30 per cent after 12pm but a complete halt will only discourage daily commuters who rely on it to get home,” says Mohammed Khan echoing a similar sentiment.

And while there have been some notes of discord as far as the fare structuring across the various zones is concerned, a clear majority of 77 per cent believe that the introduction of the Nol cards was a good move by the RTA.

However the integrated payment system has not gone down very well with all users, with some insisting that the increase in bus fares has made commuting an expensive affair. “It used to cost me Dh1.50 to travel from Gardens to Jebel Ali. With the introduction of Nol Card, travelling on the same route costs Dh4.10, which is almost three times more. 

This is difficult to understand,” says Simple Danes. Despite this being a common gripe with most people who took the survey, almost 64 per cent thought that the fares were reasonable.

However, the response on whether they would stop using their cars when the Metro became fully functional on the Red and Green lines, was generally mixed, only 21 per cent of the respondents were completely unwilling to give up their mode of conveyance in favour of public transport. Of the remaining respondents, 45 per cent were ready to leave their car keys at home in favour of a daily commute on the Metro.

And that probably is one reason why congestion, according to a large majority of 66 per cent, had not eased despite the introduction of the Metro.  Paucity of parking spaces seems to be the other big issue with 49 per cent saying that they rarely get one. 

Dubai Metro Poll Result

Are you happy with the frequency of services on the Red Line? 

  • YES  — 70%  NO —30%  

Do you think that the fares are reasonable?

  • YES  — 64%  NO —36%

Do you think there are enough parking spaces for people at the station?

  • YES  — 51%  NO —49%

Has Dubai’s traffic congestion eased after the introduction of the Metro?

  • YES  — 34%  NO —66%

Do you think the Nol cards which integrate the use of Metro, water taxis and buses is a good move on part of the RTA?

  • YES  — 77%  NO —23%

How frequently do you use the Metro?

  • OFTEN— 41%  RARELY—59%

Are you satisfied with the efficiency of the feeder buses?

  • YES  — 49%  NO —51%

Where do you purchase your Metro tickets from?

  • SUPERMARKETS — 10%
  • VENDING MACHINES— 26%
  • STATION COUNTERS— 64%

Would you stop using your car when the Metro is fully functional on both the Red and Green lines?

  • YES  — 45%  NO —34% NEVER– 21%

Do you think enough information is available on the use of the Metro?

  • YES  — 63%  NO —37% 

  TRAIN TALK 

I like the Dubai Metro service as it makes travelling a lot easier in the city through traffic congestion. It is also eco-friendly and very cheap. –Hatim Asgar Ali

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I feel the Metro still has to improve. The trains are totally packed and it is very hard to stand or sit in both the Gold and Silver classes. –Ajo Alex

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Well parking is an issue. The malls charge and exorbitant amount for parking your car beyond the fixed time frame. This is the prime reason why commuters like me have second thoughts about travelling on the Metro. RTA should seriously come up with a solution. –Sammy Simon

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I will surely quit using my car to use the Metro from Jebel Ali to Dubai once all the stations on the Red Line are ready. –Suhail Falak

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The Metro has been a grand success and an increasing number of travelers are using it and because of this the crowds are swelling at the stations. The authorities should devise a system to keep the rush in check. –Priyesh Kumar Melath

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The Dubai Metro is fantastic. Its been tough to get it going but it is doing well. I bet its going to get better and would be perfect by the time its fully functional. –Trompess Francis

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The Metro is doing quite well, but there are certain things authorities must take care of.

1.   Nol cards should be introduced to be used by taxis

2.   The Friday Service should be available as any normal day but with increased frequency say 15 or 20 minutes (compared to 10 minutes on weekdays).

3.   The Metro should allow luggage, so passengers from Airport (Terminal 3 and in future other terminals) can use the Metro and avoid traffic congestion – Natarajan Somsundaram

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The Metro is a great way to travel around Dubai, but the way I see it the real traffic congestion happens between Dubai and Sharjah. I think it would be a good idea to extend the service to the Qusais Industrial Area. In any case, when all the stations are completely operational we will see an improvement in traffic condition. –Mahalakshmi Teki

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I have used the Metro only once, and my observations as follows:

1.   Display of notices to reach buses is very vague, people sometimes lose the track, we did also.

2.   To reach boarding platform, passengers have to walk a lot of escalators as well as platform distance is too far!

3.   Toilet/catering facilities not provided.

4.   No medical and emergency first aid facilities observed around.

5.   Fares are slightly higher 

-Ayub Khan 

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We are very happy with the Metro, but I think there are problems with the Nol cards. I feel that sometimes we are being overcharged, and that’s not just with us. There are others who have been complaining about it. The RTA needs to take corrective measures. –Neha Mehta

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The RTA needs to improve feeder bus connectivity. Right now there is a surfeit of buses on some routes, while other places are not being serviced as well. Once that happens the Metro will become a better travel option. –Asif

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It’s a great way to travel for people who either don’t have cars or want to avoid the traffic. –Ameya Deshmukh

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I know it is probably the safest way to travel in the city, but authorities should take all precautions to make sure that they are alert to the smallest emergency. All Metro employees should be thoroughly trained to handle such situations.  -Nalin