By Andy Sambidge
Transport authority chief says futher expansion plans in pipeline including extension of Dubai Metro Red Line
Public transport in Dubai lifted more than 531 million passengers during 2014 compared to 440 million in the previous year, the emirate's transport authority said on Saturday.
Average daily usage for Metro, tram, buses and marine transit modes averaged 1.475 million last year, said the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in a statement.
In announcing the figures, the RTA revealed that there are more than 35 mega projects in the pipeline including the extension of the Red Line of the Dubai Metro, upgrading roads and junctions leading to the site of Expo 2020 in Jebel Ali, and procuring new trains to keep up with the sustained growth in the number of metro users.
Mattar Al Tayer, chairman and executive director of the RTA, said: "The public transport network in Dubai has become a key element in the mobility of people in various parts of the emirate... The share of public transport in the mobility of people has leapfrogged from 6 percent in 2006 to 14 percent in 2014 and the RTA is endeavouring to push it to as much as 20 percent by 2020."
He added: "The RTA is proceeding with the efforts to make public transport systems the first choice for people, be it citizens, residents or visitors, in their daily mobility to work, home or have a time out."
The RTA said it is also planning to broaden the coverage of bus network to reach 16 new areas, and improve services in 19 areas by 2020, and upgrade water transport systems.
Dubai Metro, across the Red and Green Lines, lifted a total of 164.307 million users compared with 137.759 million in 2013, while public buses served 91.888 million people.
Taxis in Dubai lifted 108.875 million passengers last year in more than 217.751 million trips while marine transit systems carried 13.26 million people.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.