Plans to extend sections of Dubai Metro are on track with the designs of the expansion on three ends of the network currently being worked out, a senior Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) official told the media.
The extension will include doubling the length of Green Line, extending the Red Line from both ends including a branch to Red Line from Jebel Ali to the Expo 2020 site as well as building 21 more stations on the entire network.
“The Green line will extend by 20.6 km, 12 of which will be elevated and 8.6 km will be underground. The extended section will be supported by 11 new stations in addition to current 20,” said Abullah Yousuf Al Ali, Acting CEO of RTA’s Rail Agency.
The extend section on the Green Line will cover Dubai Festival City, Ras Al Khor, Dubai International City, Silicon Oasis and Dubai Academic City.
Al Ali revealed the details of the expansion plan, speaking to Gulf News on the sidelines of Middle East Rail conference at the Dubai Convention Centre.
The number of stations on the entire network will increase from the current 47—– two stations are common for both the lines — to 70 by 2020, said Al Ali.
“The designs and details of the expansion project are currently being worked out and work on the project will begin soon. All the extensions will be ready in time for Expo 2020,” added Al Ali.
The Red Line is currently served by 29 stations, after the extension 12 more stations will be built.
By 2020, the total length of Dubai Metro will be 110km and the Red Line will be extended by 3.5km from Rashidiya to Mirdiff, while another 15km will be added from Jebel Ali to the Expo 2020 site near Al Maktoum International Airport.
Al Ali said the routes and the stations were planned following extensive studies that looked into aspects like developments around the area and the proximity of the proposed locations to the residential and commercial neighbourhoods.
Speaking at the Middle East Rail 2014, he shed light on the positive impact Dubai Metro has had on Dubai’s mobility management: “Dubai Metro brought a revolution in the public transport sector not only in Dubai but across the GCC. In Dubai it has played an important role in changing the public perspective about public transport, which is reflected in the increase in the share of public transport from just 6 per cent in 2006 to 13 per cent in 2013.”
RTA is targeting an increase of 1 per cent every year in public transport share of road users over the next two decades.
Dubai Metro transports around 500,000 passengers daily on both the lines and this only with half its running capacity.
Running at a frequency of 3 minutes during peak hours and 6 minutes, Dubai Metro currently carries 13,000 passengers per hour per day and has the peak capacity to carry 26,000 passengers per hour per day.
Al Ali revealed that the metro network currently operates 56 trains and 23 trains are in spare. He added the system has the capacity to run a train every 90 seconds at its peak.
The Red Line of Dubai Metro was launched on September 9, 2009 and the Green Line was inaugurated in September 2011. Till date, 330 million passengers have commuted on the world’s largest driverless rail network.