By Andy Sambidge
Elderly set to get free travel on rail system in 2010 under new proposals.
The number of Dubai Metro passengers in the first two months of operation is about 40 percent higher than pre-launch estimates, transport bosses have said.
Nearly three million passengers have used the Dubai Metro since the September 9 launch at an average of 57,000 trips per day, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said.
It also revealed that new services for the elderly and students were to be launched in 2010, with free travel being one option for the elderly and reductions for students.
"We have hit three million passengers on the Metro, which is fantastic," said Peyman Parham, Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications, RTA in comments published by Emirates Business on Monday.
"The daily number has been lower on week days and higher on weekends, averaging at about 57,000 per day. But there were a few days when it went to 90,000 to 100,000. The total number is 40 per cent higher than we expected," he added.
The authority also said it had sold about 1.2 million Nol cards to date, of which 900,000 are multiple-use silver cards.
On future services, Parham told the paper: "We will soon have services for senior citizens and students, which will launch in the first half of 2010. The senior citizen population size is small but we want to honour them. Chances are we won't charge them.
"We are seeing feasibility at this point, but that will be a great gesture and looks likely. For students we have to cut price. We don't know by how much at this moment, but it should be more than 30 percent."
The comments come after a YouGov survey published last week revealed that 59 percent of Dubai residents had yet to ride the metro.
RTA expects passenger numbers on the Red Line to reach 100,000 per day once it is fully operational. The remaining 19 stations are due to open by February 2010 but the RTA has not yet decided whether to open them in phases or all at once.
Connectivity between RTA buses and the Metro is yet to work smoothly. Many RTA buses have faulty NoL card reading machines resulting in higher fares being deducted and no RTA help when such problems occur. If the RTA is serious, encouraging residents to use the Metro will require more than mere statistical reports!
Nothing is free, if it is "Free", it means that it is being paid by the other paying passengers.
blah blah ..and how many less cars through the SALIK gates? Surely another easy to publish number...
In short humble request to RTA to increase frequecy of public transport (Metro and even Buses) on weekend; which is in general reduced compare to weekdays. Details: RTA is doing good job, still initial stage and guess lot of scope of improvments and identifing and filling gaps. I guess Numbers proved that weekend users are relatively higher then weekdays. That means RTS should re-think on starting time on weekend and holiday. With these numbers, increasing frequency on week-end will encorage more people to use metro even on week-ends. So many people might want to spend full day at some place (e.g. Zabeel park or Dubai Mall or any other), they have to opt for car or some other alternate solution as Metro is starting only at 2:00PM. So as numbere suggests, ther might be heavy rush around 2:00PM, this will discourage people to use Metro on week ends. For so many people/Families in dubai, may wish to use public transport on weekend (as while going on work on weekdays they might have company transport or some other fixed alternate) to move around in the city. I stay in international city, frequency for X23 is half compare to weekdays, even i observed that few drivers have tendency to take short-cuts skipping few stations within international city - this make situation worse for people waiting at stops being skipped. Once upon a day i was waiting at stop for two hours (frquency is every 20 minutes) and eventually walked to dragon mall instead of Deira Gold souq, where i intend to travel. Hope some of RTA officials reading this requests
57000 passangers a day ... lets assume each passanger spends 10dhs on the tickets. thats a revenue of 570,000 dhs. Humm, hope that covers the electricity bill of the metro.