14.82m Metro riders in Jan, regulars lament 'crowds’

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14.82m Metro riders in Jan, regulars lament crowds’

Peak-time rush, unavailability of seats becoming unbearable, complain passengers.

By Dhanusha Gokulan/staff Reporter

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Published: Tue 17 Feb 2015, 1:14 AM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 11:42 PM

Dubai - Regular Dubai Metro users are complaining that the crowds during peak hours are becoming “insufferable”. Jam-packed compartments, lack of availability of places to sit and unruly behaviour of passengers — especially while embarking and disembarking — are some of the complaints made by passengers.

People have started to grasp the benefits of using public transport, Mohammed Al Mudharreb, Director of Rail Operation at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), said, as he unveiled the “remarkable increase” in the ridership of the Dubai Metro that clocked 14.825 million riders in January 2015. Last year, during the same month, 13.508 million riders used the Red and Green Lines of the Metro.

Meanwhile, the Dubai Tram — launched on November 11, 2014, — lifted 301,299 riders in January alone.

To accommodate the rising numbers of ridership, especially during the peak hours, the Rail Agency at the RTA has reduced the per train headway on the Red Line to two minutes, 38 seconds. The peak hours, as of September 1, 2013, are from 7am to 9am and from 5pm to 8pm from Sunday to Thursday.

People-speak

Metro users are not as pleased with the numbers as the RTA officials are.

Egyptian national and regular user of the Metro Bashar Hassan said: “The peak-time rush in the Metro is becoming unbearable. People are always pushing and shoving, especially when they have to embark and disembark from the train.

“There are no places to sit and on bad days there is no place to breathe either. The crowds become terrible starting from Business Bay Metro Station, all the way to Union Metro Station. And it is only when it reaches Rashidiya that the crowd reduces.”

Seena Varghese, a resident of Sharjah, who uses the Metro everyday to work, said: “There are too many people on the trains. Weekends are also crowded now, especially on Friday evenings.” She said people need to follow some kind of etiquette while embarking and disembarking. “They shove and push when you need to get inside the Metro.”

Tram passengers ‘better’

Passengers on the Dubai Tram suggested that the crowds are not as bad as the ones in the Metro. Passengers said shorter distances and slow speed of the tram are the main reasons for the lesser crowds.

“It’s not jam-packed like the Metro. The tram covers only 10km and a lot of people still hop on and off the Metro as a joy ride,” said Kenny Lucas, a resident of Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT).

Last January, the Dubai Tram was used by 301,299 riders and the Dubai Marina Station was the busiest in the tram network serving about 77,807 riders, followed by JLT Station, which was used by 38,230 riders, said Mudharreb.

dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com


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