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Mon 27 Jul 2009 03:00 PM

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Analyst claims Dubai metro station delays highly likely

Transport analyst says stations on red line will 'almost certainly' be delayed.

Most stations on Dubai Metro’s red line will “almost certainly” be delayed beyond the system’s September 9 launch date, a transport analyst has claimed.

Jose Paul, automotive and transportation expert at consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, said on Monday that uncontrollable influences would force the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) to open some stations later than planned.

“It is almost certain that the metro will be open with only a few stations in operation in the first phase,” he said.     

“A lot has changed between when the target dates were announced initially and now. Economic slowdown, delay in various critical real estate projects and change in demand patterns are some of the key factors which have significant impact on a project of this magnitude.

“Given this background, it is definitely commendable that the RTA is working towards the aggressive deadlines it had set initially.”

The comments follow RTA claims that all metro stations will be open next month. A spokesperson for the authority dismissed suggestions of delays when speaking with Arabian Business earlier on Monday.

But doubts remain over whether all stations will be ready on time.   

Paul insisted any public backlash, should the $4.2bn metro not be fully operational next month, would be temporary. He also said a delay to the stations’ openings would have no long-term effect on demand.

Stations in areas of public interest, such as Deira City Centre and Mall of the Emirates, would be opened first if delays occured, Paul added.

While some stations may not be operational from September, Paul said it was critical for the RTA to ensure parking facilities and feeder bus routes were up and running.

“If the car parks and feeder bus systems are not in place, it could affect the usage of the metro considerably,” he said. “Very few commuters are likely to use alternate public transport options to get to a metro station.”

He also said parking fees at Dubai malls for people leaving cars longer than four hours was fair. “Having parking fees has its merits and demerits. Malls are often faced with 'non shoppers' occupying parking space for many hours and the introduction of the metro compounds the problem further.

“Many commuters are likely to look at mall car parks as a convenient place to park before boarding the metro and this will result in problems for genuine shoppers.

“Burjuman is a good example where introduction of parking fees has helped clear congestion and resulted in hassle-free parking for shoppers. The parking fees are usually waived against any purchase at the mall, thereby benefiting the customers at large.”

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John 11 years ago

While most reports from analysts in this country should be ignored, maybe this one has a point for a change. If the RTA is hiding behind spin and piffle they will be exposed like their cousins at Etisalat for not being candid and erring on the side of being economical with the truth. If the stations aren't ready, so be it, they will be finished soon and all will be well. Share your problems with your future customers, because we are all looking forward to this wonderful service and will give you the benefit of the doubt if you don't obfuscate and get your PR mavens out in force to spin the story.

Ali 11 years ago

"Burjuman is a good example where introduction of parking fees has helped clear congestion and resulted in hassle-free parking for shoppers." I'm sure it has. They've probably gone to another mall. It would be interesting to see ACCURATE visitor figures in the months before and after introducing parking fees.

Dubai Metro Ridder 11 years ago

I have the accurate information... 10 stations will be opened only.. see you there.

Punky Brewster 11 years ago

I can imagine... here comes my stop! Suddenly, the announcement "Dear Customer, the RTA is sorry they didn't fix the DOORS correctly, and due to the contractor being negligent, we are taking him to the courts to solve this issue. The inconvenience is regretted". OK, I can live with that... I'll get off at the NEXT stop. There comes the NEXT stop, and it goes... "Dear Customer, the RTA apologizes to all it's customers for not stopping here as well, 'cos the tiling was cracked at a few places, and we have taken it up with the contractor, who has promised to FIX them up, as soon as he receives the payment from the MAIN contractor. Sorry for the inconvenience, and hope to see you ride the Dubai Metro again". Fine, I'll get off the next stop, and when that comes, the door opens. U see left, & right, and there's NO OTHER person getting off the train. The Train departs, and then the announcement comes in - "Dear Stupid Traveler, as the RTA announced earlier, we are STILL Fixing the stations. This was an error to stop here, Y did U get off? Now that U took this step, deal with it, live with it, and walk back to the two stops where U wanted to alight the Metro initially. Thanks for your patience, understanding, and hope NOT to see U at THIS station again, until it's fixed by the contractor, who has YET to be paid by the BONDS sold to the Central govt".

george 11 years ago

i read an article that the metro will travel at a speed of 45 km/h ! and has a stop like evey 3 kilomteres at the stations!. Frankly asking...is it worth taking the metro if it takes you like at least 1.5 hours to go from the Free Zone to Deira for example, while by car it will take you 30 minutes only !

AD 11 years ago

Hey Ridder, that's 1 (station) more then the number I have heard. ;)

albert quesada 11 years ago

hopefully it will be finished in time for 999, since it is well advertise in the news all around the world.

aayu 11 years ago

What big deal about not all opening on 9/9/9 or add one more 9. How dramtically it will change our lives it others open after one month. Doing things in hurry are a matter of worry Seoul and Delhi (most recent ) are big examples. It did change lives of many- They are no more ALIVE....!!! Arabian Business - Please come out of habbit of making headlines of what a single person comments/feel. Let your jouranlist do more homework and research .... try www.bbc.co.uk for inspiration

Dr Paul Goodwill Ambassador to my Auntie Margaret 11 years ago

I don't see that a delay would cause a public backlash - projects such as this can always slip, that is not unique to the UAE. I think it would be better to ensure (a) that the focus is on the most important stations such as the airport, major malls (b) that safety is not compromised by rushing the system live without proper tests and staff training. If it takes a bit longer, then so be it. What is more likely to frustrate the public is assurances with just a month to go that all is on time, if it later emerges that it is not even close to opening on time. If that is the case, it would be far better all around to let people know in advance.