A dream ride

A dream ride

It’s been a joy ride for Dubai Metro as it celebrates its third anniversary today.



by

Muaz Shabandri

Published: Sun 9 Sep 2012, 9:09 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 2:33 PM

Commuters taking the Metro have been a happy lot as it continues to be a fast, reliable and safe way to commute since starting on September 9, three years ago.

With the red and green lines serving millions of commuters every month, Dubai Metro has made travelling within the city easier for residents and tourists. More than 184 million commuters having travelled on the metro in three years, the metro has added to Dubai’s glowing list of achievements.

Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), said “This huge success has gone beyond the boundaries of the Emirate to the world over, stamping the prominent standing of Dubai as a distinctive metropolitan city and a hub for business as well as sophisticated living standards.”

He added: “Dubai Metro is also viewed as an iconic addition to the landmarks and high-flying achievements of Dubai, particularly as it used cutting-edge technology of the rail industry, and carved a niche for itself as the world’s longest driverless metro project.”

With a combined length of 74.69 kilometres, Dubai Metro holds the record of the World’s longest driverless metro network.

Speaking with Khaleej Times, Ramadan Abdulla, Director of RTA Rail Operations said: “Dubai Metro is achieving a daily average ridership of 300,000. This has led to the share of motorised trips in public transport to double in three years. It means public transport is now carrying twice as many riders as it was before the launch of Dubai Metro.”

He also highlighted that Dubai Metro and public buses complemented each other with an integrated fare structure and easy connection of buses at metro stations.

Fatima Ansari uses the Metro to reach her office in Jumeirah Lake Towers from Bur Dubai every day. She has been travelling for over a year now. “The Metro has made my life very comfortable and commuting to work is a breeze. It’s easier than driving a car and getting around the city, as I avoid rush-hour traffic and parking issues,” she said. She also called on the need for more gold-class compartments and more trains during peak hours.

“The gold-class is usually packed during peak hours. It would be a good idea to extend the gold-class into two compartments or increase the frequency of trains,” she said.

While commuters like Fatima make use of the metro regularly to get to work, other residents also occasionally hop on-board for a joy ride. Afnan Aqeel, a university student says the Metro eases travel woes of people without cars.

“Travelling on the Metro saves a lot of time but the best part is the entire city is well-connected and the stations are also easily accessible. It has changed the way people travel in the city and now most of us cannot imagine how we would travel without the Metro,” he says.

Dubai Metro has a total of 47 stations of which 29 stations are on the Red Line and 18 stations are on the Green Line. The two lines intersect twice; first at the Union Station which is the biggest underground metro station in the world spanning an area of 25,000 square meters, and second at Khalid bin Al Waleed Station; which is one of the most stunning metro stations in the world.

muaz@khaleejtimes.com

Milestones

> July 2005: The designing and construction of the Dubai Metro Project contract was awarded to the Dubai Rapid Link (DURL) consortium.

> March 21, 2006: His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum inaugurated the construction works of the Dubai Metro project at an official ceremony held in Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai.

> July 29, 2006: Casting of the first concrete pier for the elevated track of Dubai Metro between the 6th and 7th Interchanges of Shaikh Zayed Road.

> January 10, 2007: Shaikh Mohammed launched the initial drilling works of Dubai Metro tunnels by pressing the button of the giant Tunnel Boring Machine (Alwugisha) marking the start of the tunneling works from Al Ittihad Station to Khalid bin Al Waleed Station passing under the bed of the Dubai Creek.

> March 7, 2008: The first batch of 10 metro carriages arrived in Jebel Ali Port.

> September 20, 2008: Shaikh Mohammed launched the trial run of the Dubai Metro on the test track.

> September 9, 2009: Shaikh Mohammed launched the official operation of the Red Line traveling over 10 stations.

> September 9, 2011: Shaikh Mohammed launched the official operation of the Green Line of the Dubai Metro.

AT A GLANCE

Total commuters

> On red line: 151 million passengers

> On green line: 32 million passengers

> Red Line extends 52 km and comprises 29 stations (4 underground, 24 elevated, and 1 at the grade)

> Green Line extends 23 km and comprises 18 stations (6 underground, 12 elevated)


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