Why not open all the Dubai Metro stations?

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By Aarti Nagraj  www.kippreport.com 

Construction of all the Metro’s red line stations will be completed by April 25.But many will only open some “months” after that date. Why?

1Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced on Saturday that work on all the remaining 18 stations on the Dubai Metro’s Red Line will be complete by April 25 2010.

However, the actual opening of the stations will be staggered in phases. The Emirates, Airport Terminal 1, GGICO, Al Karama, World Trade Center, Marina, and Ibn Battuta stations will open on April 25 – but the remaining 11 stations “will be operated over the following months of 2010,” Mattar al-Tayer, the chairman and executive director of RTA said in a release.

The stations to be opened were selected on the basis of “availability of population density in the locality served by each station… availability of commercial activities in the area served by each station, availability of government activities in the vicinity of each station, the station integration with other transport modes… and the projected number of commuters at each station,” according to al-Tayer.

Kipp doesn’t understand why things in Dubai can’t ‘fully’ open when they are supposed to. If all the stations on the Red Line are set to be ready in April, then why not open all of them? The Metro has been running for close to six months now, and most of the operational problems on the trains have been sorted out.  So why should the stations only open in phases?

The Dubai government is struggling to persuade residents to use public transport, and recently, the Dubai Municipality even tried to enforce a car-free day as an environmentally friendly initiative. But how will people use the Metro if the stations close to their homes/offices are not even open?

The RTA’s criteria include availability of population and commercial activities in the vicinity of the station. Based on that, shouldn’t the Dubai Internet City station as well the Jebel Ali stations be opening? Unless, of course, they will not be ready – and the RTA just doesn’t want to acknowledge that.