Dubai Metro: 7 years and 830 million riders Filed on September 9, 2016 | Last updated on September 9, 2016 at 06.20 am
Dubai Metro: 7 years and 830 million riders


(Photo by Shihab / Khaleej Times)

To put the figures in perspective, using the law of averages, 118,571,429 riders use the Metro every year; that's 9,880,952 every month.

Dubai Metro: 7 years and 830 million riders (KT825398.JPG)

(Click on the image to enlarge)

Dubai Metro is celebrating its seventh year today. According to the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), during this period, it has served more than 830 million riders since it was rolled out on September 9, 2009. 

To put the figures in perspective, using the law of averages, 118,571,429 riders use the Metro every year; that's 9,880,952 every month. Daily average riders are 329,365 or 13,723 every hour and 229 every minute or 3.8 riders hop in the Metro every second. The world's most populous countries are China and India with 1.4 billion and 1.3 billion people respectively and the Metro has transported 830 million riders. 

Public transport systems, which are safe, clean and affordable, are an essential part of development. As living standards increase, the demand for transportation also rises and it is good to note that in the first six months of this year alone, 273,452,791 passengers used Dubai's public transport. Of this figure, 35.38 per cent or 96,486,495 riders used the Metro (both Red Line and Green Line) 

In terms of road space it occupies and energy consumed, public transport is far more efficient than private vehicles. According to a study, "a bus carrying 40 passengers uses only 2.5 times more road space than a car carrying only one or two people. And the same bus consumes only about three times as much fuel as a car." 

There is no doubt therefore, that the Metro, having a capacity of servicing 25,720 passengers per hour per direction, is the right approach to encourage low-carbon growth in the city. 

According to Mattar Al Tayer, RTA director-general and chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, "there is a remarkable evolution in the culture of people towards public transit means as people started to perceive the benefits of mass transport such as peace of mind and physical convenience during mobility as well as reduced outlays in fuel and vehicle maintenance." 

More is in store for Dubai's urban mobility. 

"The share of public transport in people's journeys had touched 15 per cent by the end of 2015. The RTA is moving ahead with its ambitious plans for upgrading mass transit means and stepping up their contribution to people's mobility to as much 30 per cent by 2030," Al Tayer stressed. 

(Click on the image to enlarge)

Dubai Metro: 7 years and 830 million riders (KT825498.JPG)

2020 and beyond on the metro

Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, recently laid the foundation stone of Route 2020. The project, at a cost of Dh10.6b, covers the extension of the Dubai Metro Red Line, 15km from Nakheel Harbour & Tower Station to the site of Expo 2020.

Route 2020 will not only facilitate the Expo during its six months, but will also serve around 270,000 residents living in growing communities such as The Gardens, Discovery Gardens, Al Furjan, Jumeirah Golf Estates and Dubai Investment Park as well as Al Maktoum International Airport in the future. The project, including the procurement of 50 trains, was awarded to Expolink, a consortium of French, Spanish and Turkish companies, at a cost of Dh10.6b.

The trial run is expected to start in the last quarter of 2019 and the official operation is set for May 20, 2020, five months ahead of the scheduled opening of Expo 2020.

The project encompasses seven stations, including a transfer station, the Expo Station, three elevated stations, and two underground stations. The capacity of Route 2020 is estimated at 46,000 riders per hour in both directions or 23,000 per hour in each direction and estimated transit time from Dubai Marina Station to Expo Station is expected to be 16 minutes only.

According to RTA studies, the ridership of Route 2020 is expected to reach 125,000 riders per day in 2020; and set to rise to 275,000 riders per day by 2030. Studies also anticipated that about 35,000 riders will use the Expo Station per day during weekdays, and the number is expected to rise to 47,000 riders per day during weekends. This number accounts for about 20 per cent of the projected total number of daily visitors to Expo 2020.

Furthermore, the RTA said the "length of Dubai's road network will increase from 13,338 lanes from the first quarter of 2016 to 14,491 lanes by 2020, while the length of train networks, including the Metro and tram, will increase from 85km to 104km. Stations and stops of maritime transport will rise from 32 to 76 stations, while the number of public transport buses will increase from 1,518 to 1,852.

Boon to people's mobility

Over the years, Dubai has seen an increased ridership of public transport. The share of public transport in people's mobility has soared from a single digit, 6 per cent, in 2006 to 15 per cent in 2015. The rate is expected to reach 16 per cent by the end of this year and the target is to achieve as high as 30 per cent by 2030. 

"The positive indicators of the growing ridership of the Dubai Metro underscore the strategic dimension of the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. It also underlines the firm conviction of Shaikh Mohammed about the vitality of the metro in serving the needs of the urban upswing witnessed by the city. He had envisioned the Metro as the backbone of a transportation system in Dubai that links various hotspots of the city, and offers a safe and smooth mobility around," said Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).  


Inspiring figures:

Dubai Metro commuters (both Red and Green lines) have soared considerably 

96,486,495 riders during the first six months of 2016 compared to 88,252,034 riders during the same period in 2015. 

From January till June 2016 there were: 

61,204,743 - recorded number of rides for the Red Line

35,281,752 - recorded number of rides for the Red Line 

Metro compared to other modes of public transport: 

Public buses - 69,922,328 riders in the first six months of this year. 

Dubai Bus - 44,835,999 riders 

Metro feeder service - 16,434,999 riders 

Intercity bus - 5,566,279 riders 

Rented bus - 3,085,000 

Dubai Tram - 2,535,429 riders compared with 2,552,756 riders in the same period last year. 

Abra - 6,714,884 rides 

Water bus - 324,921 riders 

Water taxi 26,723 riders 

Dubai Ferry - 74,330 riders 

Taxis operating in Dubai (Dubai Taxi and franchise company taxis) made 48,683,977 trips during the first half of this year, lifting 97,367,954 passengers.  

(Click on the image to enlarge)

Dubai Metro: 7 years and 830 million riders (KT825598.JPG)


7 facts about the Dubai Metro

1) Construction of the Red Line (Phase-1) commenced on August 21, 2005; the service was launched on September 9, 2009 at 9:09:09pm 

2) Green Line (Phase-2) started construction on the July 18, 2006 and was inaugurated on September 9, 2011. 

3) In 2012, Guinness World Records declared Dubai Metro the world's longest fully automatic driverless train system with a route length 75 kilometres, covering 49 stations. 

4) Precision: 99.9 per cent of trains are on time. 

5) Operating 50 trains at peak times with maximum running speed of 90km per hour. 

6) Capacity: Initial Line capacity for the Red Line, in 2010: 11,010 pphpd (Passengers per hour per direction) 

Initial Line capacity for the Green Line, in 2011: 6,394 pphpd 

Ultimate Line capacity for the Red Line: 25,720 pphpd 

Ultimate Line capacity for the Green Line: 25,720 pphpd 

7) Cost and effect: The construction cost of the Dubai Metro project has shot up by about 80 per cent from the original Dh15.5 billion to Dh28 billion. But as Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA, said: "Investment in infrastructure development is not a waste."

UAE residents speak: It has changed our lives

Dubai Metro: 7 years and 830 million riders (KT825698.JPG)Ciriaco Bautista, Filipino accountant

I've been here in Dubai for nine years and before the Metro, it was really a daily struggle for me to look for a taxi or bus. Taxis were expensive and the bus was sometimes unreliable and you needed to wait for some time before you could get one. In the past seven years, mobility has been less of a problem for me. Every place is now accessible, including malls and churches, and all are within the network of the Metro.

Dubai Metro: 7 years and 830 million riders (KT825798.JPG)Dhara Bakhai,18, student at Heriot Watt University 

Dubai Metro started when I was in school and I could always depend on it when I missed my school bus. Even now, travelling to malls and internships is really convenient because there's a train every five minutes. Before, I had to travel by cab and it would take a lot of time because of the traffic. Even though the system is great, I wish the Metro would extend the line to the universities in Academic City because it is tiring to travel by bus for 40-50 minutes.

Dubai Metro: 7 years and 830 million riders (KT825898.JPG)Jayendra Gurdasani, 61, Indian 

The Metro is a big help to me because I do not own a car. So travelling to work would require me to either take the abra or the bus and then, walk quite a distance to reach the office. Now I reach my destination in just 15 minutes. Before the metro, there was a lot of traffic. It was tiresome. Now travelling is easier and less time consuming. 

Angel Tesorero

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