A significant improvement to Dubai’s growing traffic problems,
but opening in 2009 is doubtful
The Dubai Metro will be a driverless, fully automated metro network under construction in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai. It is aimed to be one of the most advanced urban rail systems in the world and will be the catalyst for tourism, financial and economic growth. (Pics)
The Metro is scheduled to partially open by September 2009 and be fully completed by 2012. But knowing Dubai’s famed reputation in construction completion (endless delays!), I’d say that the deadline to partially open on September 2009 is too optimistic.
Click image to see enlarged map
Dubai Metro network
There are four lines which use 99 five-car trains each 75-meters long with seats for 400 passengers:
- Red Line: 50 kilometres (31 mi) line with 35 stations from Jebel Ali Port, the American University in Dubai, through the city centre, and to the Airport Free Zone.
- Green Line: 20 kilometres (12 mi) line with 22 stations from Festival City, through the city centre, Dubai International Airport Terminals 1 and 3, and to Rashidiya.
- Blue Line: 47 kilometres (29 mi) line along Emirates Road, exact route currently unknown.
- Purple Line: 49 kilometres (30 mi) line along Al Khail Road, meant to be an express route between Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport (formerly Dubai World Central International Airport.
Each train, in the Red and Green lines, consists of five carriages capable of accommodating about 643 commuters. The coaches are classified into two classes — Golden Class and Silver Class. The Golden Class is situated at the front of the train, comprising 18 deluxe seats, with luxurious interior fittings, more spacious leather seats and panoramic view across the front window of the train. The coach, which includes a section dedicated to women and children, is wide enough to accommodate prams and luggage to ensure safety and convenience for women and children. The Silver Class comprises four coaches with 104 seats each. The multiple grab handles provide safe hold for standing passengers.
As the very popular saying goes, “it will be beautiful when it’s all finished“. Meanwhile, residents are getting wrinkly and older by the minute with traffic stress, diversion road confusion and relentless construction noise.
The first phase of the network is being built by Dubai Rapid Link (DURL) Consortium which comprises Japanese companies including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Corporation, Obayashi Corporation, Kajima Corporation and the Turkish company Yapi Merkezi. The Dubai Metro will be operated by the Dubai Road and Transport Authority. The Dubai Metro system will be the longest fully automated rail system in the world.
Dubai has a very large bus system run by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). The bus system has 193 routes on weekdays and transports over 30 million people weekly. The Public Transport bus system is large and advanced but not large enough to accommodate the volume of people who use it. This means that in busy areas it is common that at the end of the day commuters may have to wait more than an hour before they can board a bus. Unfortunately the amount of buses does not increase with the same rate as the amount of passengers, which makes this problem worse as time progresses.
The (RTA) has announced that Dubai roads will see 620 new buses costing more than one billion dirhams by 2009; the new fleet includes 170 double decker buses.
Dubai also has an extensive taxi system, by far the most frequently used means of public transport within the Emirate. There are both government-operated and private cab companies. The Dubai Transport Corporation operates cream-colored taxis. Some of the private cab companies are Cars Taxi, National Taxi, Cititaxi and Metro Taxi. The meter generally begins as Dhs. 3.80 and is generally charged by distance at 50 fils/km. There are approximately 7500 taxis located in the city.