Dubai: Residents near Route 2020 welcome new Metro stations, easier commutes
The long-awaited move means trains will shuttle directly between Al Rashidiya metro station and the Expo 2020 station.
Residents living in districts close to the Route 2020 metro lines are hopeful that the opening of two new metro stations will improve connectivity and encourage use of public transport in these neighbourhoods.
Expatriates and citizens living in areas such as Al Furjan, DIP and Discovery Gardens areas told Khaleej Times they faced several connectivity and transport challenges, as the localities were not easily accessible by public transportation facilities until now.
On Saturday, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced the Dubai Investments Park and Expo 2020 metro stations would open on Route 2020 of the Metro Red Line starting June 1. The long-awaited move means trains will shuttle directly between Al Rashidiya metro station and the Expo 2020 station.
The Red Line will offer direct journeys between Al Rashidiya and Expo 2020 Stations, and the Jebel Ali Station will be a transfer station for riders to and from the UAE Exchange Station. However, only those with clearance to access the Expo site in Dubai South will be permitted to use the two until the official opening of the Expo 2020 in October this year.
Sneha Anand, an Indian expat resident of Discovery Gardens, said, “Public bus transportation in Discovery Gardens has never been a problem for me. However, if I had to get to Al Furjan, where my brother lives, there was no other way to quickly get there, except take a taxi. The new metro stations have definitely eased these troubles.”
Filipino expat Agnes Lamarca, said, “I stay in DIP. Travelling within South Dubai is not a challenge. It is going from these areas to central Dubai — Deira or Karama, for example — that was a problem for people like me who do not own a car. Now, since the metro connectivity gives me easy access to the Red Line, I don’t have to spend a lot of money on taxis.”
275,000 riders to use Route 2020 by 2030
Since the start of the operation on January 1 this year, Route 2020 of Dubai Metro has carried out a total of 27,043 journeys. Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, director-general, and chairman of the board of executive directors of RTA said Route 2020 has a capacity of 46,000 riders per hour in both directions — 23,000 riders per hour per direction.
Independent studies conducted by the RTA estimate that the number of riders using Route 2020 would reach 125,000 riders per day in 2021, and increase to 275,000 riders per day by 2030.
Studies also reveal that Expo Station is expected to record about 35,000 daily visitors to Expo during weekdays, with the number expected to increase to 47,000 daily visitors during weekends. “This number accounts for 29 per cent of the total expected number of daily visitors to Expo,” said Al Tayer.
‘Better infrastructure has improved connectivity’
According to the RTA, the route serves districts populated by at least 270,000 expatriates and citizens, and is a fast-developing neighbourhood in Dubai. Since the districts in South Dubai do not have a high population density, traffic congestion is relatively lesser, said Javed Khamisani, operator of the community-based Twitter handle @trafficdxb.
“These districts are very far away from the city’s more central locations; these areas do not face much traffic congestion. It is only now that more residents are choosing to move to these areas. Residential properties in South Dubai have come up with a lot of housing schemes,” said Khamisani.
“The RTA has done a fantastic job with infrastructure development. Areas located on the fringes of Mohammed bin Zayed road have excellent connectivity compared to earlier,” said Khamisani.
The widening of the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed highway and connecting roads has reduced traffic considerably. “Also, there are multiple feeder buses that connect commuters from Dubai Internet City and Mall of the Emirates to areas such as Sports City, Motor City, Al Furjan, and Jumeirah Village Circle," he explained.
"Earlier, residents had to get down at Ibn Battuta Mall and take a cab to go to many of these areas, which was expensive. Now, there are new metro stations and feeder buses going to all districts near Route 2020.”
‘Feeder buses to make public transport accessible’
While launching the two new metro stations, Al Tayer said the department has designated 35 buses to serve Route 2020 stations to transport riders to and from metro stations.
“Two bus routes will serve The Gardens Station, two routes will call at The Discovery Gardens Station and two routes will pass through Al Farjan Station, in addition to five bus routes moving through the Dubai Investment Park Station. The taxi service will be available at the operated stations,” stated Al Tayer.
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