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Sat 23 Jan 2016 01:43 PM

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Dubai to buy new metro trains, expand public transport services

RTA chief says will procure more trains as usage grows; will also broaden public transport coverage to 16 new districts of Dubai

Dubai to buy new metro trains, expand public transport services
(AFP/Getty Images)

Dubai's transport authority on Saturday announced plans to procure new trains to keep up with growth in the number of metro users in the lead up to hosting Expo 2020.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) also said it is planning to broaden the metro network to reach 16 new districts of Dubai, while improving the service in 19 others by 2020.

The authority will also be focusing on upgrading marine transit modes, which are expected to witness major growth with the opening of the Dubai Water Canal linking the Business Bay with the Gulf.

The announcements came as the RTA revealed that more than 539.5 million people used public transport in Dubai last year, eight million more than during the previous year.

The RTA said the average daily usage rose to 1.5 million people on the emirate's metro, tram, buses and marine vessels, up from 1.47 million in 2014.

Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the RTA, said December was the busiest month with more than 48 million riders including 17.1 million on the Dubai Metro, 17.3 million using taxicabs, 11.8 million on buses, 1.4 million using marine transit modes, and 460,000 riding the Dubai Tram.

He added that December 31, New Year's Eve, recorded the highest daily number of 1.86 million.

The metro red and green lines lifted 178.647 million people last year compared to 164.3 million in 2014 while Dubai tram lifted just over 4 million.

Public bus users totalled 134.7 million riders last year, a drop on the 148.1 million recorded in 2014, the RTA added.

The number of marine transit modes users rose to 14.4 million last year, compared to 13.2 million in 2014 while Dubai taxis made 103.7 million trips lifting about 207.5 million passengers, a decline on the 217.7 million passengers seen in 2014.

"Comprising a full range of integrated services, the public transport network in Dubai has become the backbone of people's mobility in various parts of the emirate of Dubai. RTA's efforts in this regard contributed to raising the numbers of public transport ridership across the board," said Al Tayer in a statement.

"RTA has ambitious plans for upgrading roads infrastructure and mass transit systems, besides improving the efficiency of public transport, and broadening the delivery of smart services to the public," he added.

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Victory Red 4 years ago

I applaud their intentions to keep investing.

Having spent an hour trying to get into the Marina on Friday night to catch movie, I can recommend someone in the RTA spending a great deal of time watching the pain that people go through to access this popular part of town. The road network and traffic signaling simply doesn't work - the whole of the marina was simply gridlocked (despite the police managing road junctions).

It was repeated coming back out at 1am with large parts of the road network just sat there going nowhere.

There's plenty still to do and a connected metro network has to be the answer.

The tram system in the marina doesn't provide the solution that I am sure was intended. In hindsight it should have been built above the roadways to allow the traffic to flow underneath it. Instead of easing a traffic problem, it has simply made it worse.