Dubai: 461 million people used public transport last year, says RTA

The daily average increased to 1.3 million in 2021 as compared to 948,000 in 2020

Supplied photo
Supplied photo

A Staff Reporter

Published: Sun 20 Feb 2022, 11:51 AM

Dubai’s mass transportation means carried an average of 1.3 million riders every day last year, the latest Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) statistics have revealed.

Nearly 461 million riders used public and shared transport, and taxis in Dubai in 2021. These include the Dubai Metro, tram, public buses, marine transport means (abras, ferry, water taxi, water bus), e-hail vehicles and taxis (Dubai Taxi and franchise companies).

This is a significant rise from the number of riders served in 2020 — about 346 million.

The daily average increased to 1.3 million in 2021 as compared to 948,000 in 2020.

The stats “confirm that public transport operation is back to normal following Covid-19”, according to Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA.

“The Dubai Metro and taxis accounted for the biggest share in the number of riders using public transport … 34 per cent for taxis and 33 per cent for the Dubai Metro.

“Meanwhile, the share of public buses amounted to 25 per cent of the total number of public transport commuters,” said Al Tayer.

Busiest months

December 2021 recorded the highest number of public transport users with 53 million riders, followed by November recording 50 million. The number of riders in each of the remaining months ranged from 30 to 48 million riders.

Dubai Metro

The number of Metro riders on both the Red and Green Lines reached 151.3 million in 2021.

Burjuman and the Union Stations accounted for the biggest number of Metro riders last year. About 8.8 million riders used Burjuman Station on both the Red and Green Lines, and the Union Station was used by about 7.5 million riders, according to Al Tayer.

“On the Red Line alone, Al Rigga Station witnessed the highest number of riders as it was used by as many as 7 million riders, followed by the Mall of the Emirates Station (6.3 million), Business Bay Station (5.8 million), and Burj Khalifa-Dubai Mall Station (5.7 million).

“On the Green Line, Baniyas Station topped the list in terms of the ridership numbers by lifting about 5.3 million riders, followed by Sharaf DG Station (5.1 million), the Stadium Station (3.9 million), Salah Aldin Station (3.8 million) and Al Ghubaiba Station (3.2 million).”

Other modes of transport

Last year, the tram carried 5.34 million riders, while public buses served 116.3 million.

Marine transport means ferried 10.94 million riders.


Shared transport means (e-hail vehicles, and smart rental vehicles) were used by 22.9 million riders, and taxis transported 154.7 million.

Rising popularity of public transport

According to Al Tayer, public transport network has “become the backbone of people movement” in Dubai.

“The network succeeded in coaxing a change and evolution in the culture and attitudes of all community segments to the use of public transport means,” noted Al Tayer.

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