One million passengers use public transport
DUBAI, Feb 23, 2013 (Khaleej Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Despite huge spikes in the growth of passengers on Dubai's public transport network, the Roads and Transport Authority boss says passenger use on the Metro network is at less than 30 per cent of the total capacity.
The emirate of Dubai has seen rapid growth in its infrastructure in different fields, but perhaps the most outstanding is the development of public transport and road networks.
RTA executive director Mattar Al Tayer has presided over the changes. He said all transport projects when built took into consideration growth for over more than the next 50 years.
The past five years have witnessed the completion of several projects such as public bus service, marine transport and water taxis.
A total of one million passengers are transported through the RTA's public transport, of which 350,000 use the Dubai Metro every day, while the remainder are transported on other services. Metro can handle 1,200,000 passengers a day.
The giant road projects can accommodate as many as 1,120,000 Dubai-registered vehicles, while 21,500 motor bikes have their traffic files registered in Dubai -- in addition to the cars that come onto the network from outside the emirate.
The Metro's Red Line saw a 16 per cent rise in the number of users last year until November 2012 as compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, bringing passenger numbers to 6.5 million.
Likewise, users of the Metro Green Line over the same period rose to 3.5 million passengers, constituting a rise of 37 per cent. Users of feeder buses, classified as part of the Dubai Metro, went up to 21 per cent during the equivalent period.
And Al Tayer thinks even more passengers can be accommodated. He said the Dubai Metro was designed for coping with any expected growth in passengers in the future. The Metro was able to accommodate 26,000 passengers in an hour in one direction, he said.
Al Tayer said there is just 40 per cent utilisation on the Red Line during the peak hours.
He noted that there are some future projects that have been endorsed by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and accordingly the total length of trains operated in Dubai, which include the Dubai Metro and tram, would be expanded from 72km to around 421km by 2030.
That plan includes an overall number of 197 stations to serve six Dubai Metro lines: the Red and the Green lines that are already operational, alongside the Blue Line, Violet Line, Gold Line and the Purple Line.
"Accomplishment of the final train networks shall be largely contingent on completion of the developmental projects in the emirate and the population growth, too," Al Tayer said.
The RTA's job was not only confined to boosting public transport and expanding its lines and routes to the densely populated areas in the emirate, he said, but the RTA strived to be environmentally-friendly as well by adopting techniques such as a bus that uses a biodiesel blend (B05) containing five per cent recycled edible oil which could help reduce carbon emissions by up to 78 per cent.
Another bus harnesses the power of solar energy to provide it with courtesy lights, for instance, while a different bus uses lamps of low consumable power and is fitted with recycled tyres.
Al Tayer unveiled a plan that has been laid to raise the pedestrian bridges to enhance roads at Souq Diera, alleviate traffic jam downtown of Dubai, and encourage people to use public transport. The total number of footbridges built by 2011 was 74, which is expected to reach 87 this year, and 105 by 2016.
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