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Dubai had nearly 1m public transport riders per day in 2020: RTA

Dubai - Dubai Metro was the busiest, as it served 113.63 million riders last year.


A Staff Reporter

Published: Wed 17 Feb 2021, 3:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 17 Feb 2021, 3:06 PM

Despite Covid challenges, Dubai has maintained strong public transport ridership in 2020, thanks to stringent safety measures in place. Last year, about 346 million have used Dubai’s Metro, tram, buses, cabs, e-hail rides, marine transport and smart rental vehicles, the emirate’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) revealed on Wednesday. This translates to about 947,000 public transport riders per day.

Dubai Metro was the busiest, as it served 113.63 million riders last year. Dubai Tram had 3.65 million; public buses lifted 95.41 million; and marine transit means ferried 8.05 million riders. Shared transport means, such as e-hail and smart rental vehicles, lifted 15.29 million riders, while cabs served 109.94 million passengers.

“These results endorse the efficiency and capability of the preventive measures introduced by Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in all public transport means and facilities since the outbreak of the pandemic up to now,” said Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA.

The strong ridership level was achieved even though public transport services had been cut or ceased for a time, and many had started working from home. The 2020 total of 346 million was notably lower than the 594 million public transport riders recorded in Dubai in 2019.

When public transport entered the new normal, the RTA left no stone unturned in keeping its riders safe. Sanitisation is being done regularly, and capacity is capped to ensure physical distancing. Face masks are mandatory for all riders and staffs. RTA also introduced the scanning of all the staff before the start and after the end of shifts.

“The RTA implemented top international practices in tackling Covid-19 to nurture a safe and healthy environment for riders and staff of mass transit means. Measures taken were based on three pillars: the first is to ensure the safety of all employees by fostering a sound and safe working environment. The second is to ensure RTA’s facilities and public transit means are free from Covid-19 hazards...The third is to continue supporting Dubai Government efforts in fighting the pandemic. For instance, RTA was keen to sanitise each train at the end of each journey, and carry out intensive sanitisation of the entire fleet and stations at the end of operations each day,” Al Tayer said.

The precautionary measures taken by the RTA have earned international recognition. Norway’s DNV-GL firm, a premier global entity in the assessment of infection risk control programmes and the management of associated risks, has endorsed the efficiency of the authority’s Covid measures.

“RTA efforts contributed to the speedy recovery of the mass transit sector and the gradual boosting of the confidence of public transport riders in terms of health and preventive measures for protecting public transport riders and staffs as well as stations and facilities,” Al Tayer added.

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