Dubai: Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Roads ‘&’ Transport Authority (RTA) revealed that the number of commuters using public transport means (metro, public buses, water transport and taxis) clocked 207.48 million passengers during the first half of this year, compared to 180,544,372 passengers in corresponding period in 2011.
“Having set the full integration of public transport systems as an aim in its Strategic Plan; which is aligned with the Dubai Strategic Plan (Infrastructure Sector) envisaging fully integrated roads ‘&’ transport systems while ensuring smooth traffic flow ‘&’ high safety levels for users, the RTA has been fully focused on improving mass transit systems to make them the first choice of mobility for commuters in the Emirate,” said Al Tayer.
He added that such a drive contributed to the realization of a strategic objective of the RTA; which targets minimizing the use of private vehicles and augmenting the use of mass transit means from 6 per cent in 2009 to 30per cent in 2030; whereas the rate prevailing in 2011 was 10 percent.
“The number of commuters using the Dubai Metro (Red and Green Lines) during the past six months hit 53,043,900 passengers, compared to 28,986,110 passengers during the same period last year. January, March and May recorded the highest number of users of the Red Line of Dubai Metro at a rate of six million users per month, while March, April and May recorded the highest number of users on the Green Line of Dubai Metro at a rate of three million users per month.
Deira City Center, Mall of the Emirates, Union and Khalid bin Al Waleed Stations accounted for the lion share in the total number of commuters on the Red Line; where Deira City Center Station was used by 2,778,748 passengers, Mall of the Emirates and Union Stations were used by 2,450,000 passengers apiece, Khalid bin Al Waleed Station was used by 2,371,000 passengers, and Al Rigga Station came fifth recording 2,239,485 passengers. On the Green Line of the Dubai Metro, Al Fuhaidi, Bani Yas and Al Ghubaiba Stations recorded the highest number of metro commuters with Al Fuhaidi Station recording 2,169,487 passengers, Bani Yas station recording 2,072,000 passengers and Al Ghubaiba Station recording 1,451,000 passengers.
“The number of passengers using public buses during the first half of this year amounted to 53,539,895 passengers compared with 54,077,652 passengers who used public buses during the same period in 2011. Commuting within Dubai accounted for the largest share of passengers’ traffic recording 39,529,750 passengers, followed by the Metro Stations Feeder Service which lifted 8,131,895 passengers, and the Inter-City bus service which served 5,877,624 passengers.
“Marine transit modes, which include abras, Water Bus, Water Taxi and Ferry Dubai lifted in the first half of this year 6,898,644 passengers; where abras were used by 6,678,798 passengers, Water Bus commuted 174,269 passengers, Ferry Dubai lifted 28,792 passengers and the Water Taxi served 6,785 passengers.
“Over the past six months, taxis operating in the Emirate of Dubai (Dubai Taxi and taxicabs of franchise companies) made 47,656,000 trips lifting about 94 million passengers. Taxicabs of Dubai Taxi Corporation made 19,182,680 trips lifting about 38 million passengers, whereas taxicabs of franchise companies (National Taxi, Cars Taxi, Metro Taxi and Arabia Taxi) made 28,474,000 trips serving about 56,948,000 passengers,” elaborated the Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA.
“The huge investments made by the Dubai Government for the sake of developing the infrastructure of the transport sector have proved both successful ‘&’ effective. The healthy growth in the public transport users reflects the evolution underway in the culture of using public transport means by all spectrums of the community, particularly with the availability of the metro service.
Using mass transit means has a host of benefits such as giving a psychological ‘&’ physical relief to passengers, reducing crashes, cutting outlays on fuel ‘&’ maintenance of private vehicles, and ridding the public of the hassle of finding parking slots; which has emerged as a key challenge facing modern cities across the globe, let alone the fact that using public transport means has effective contribution to reducing environmental pollution generated by the massive number of private cars; which gives rise to several ailments, such as respiratory diseases,” said Al Tayer in a final remark.