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Sat 3 Jan 2009 04:00 AM

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RTA reconsiders Purple Line

The planned Dubai Metro Purple Line will not get the go-ahead until there is adequate demand, the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has told Construction Week.

The planned Dubai Metro Purple Line will not get the go-ahead until there is adequate demand, the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has told Construction Week.

Plans for the line are "in the air" at present, RTA chairman and executive director HE Mattar Al Tayer said.

"For the time being we are not really in a position to answer (questions concerning the purple line)," he said.

"We are considering different methodologies, and it's a plan for the future. I cannot tell you exactly what route it will take. It's in the air, but it will link the two airports."

When the Purple Line was announced in June 2007, Al Tayer said that a contractor would be selected between May 2008 and March 2009, and that construction would begin in March this year, at a cost of US $2.73 billion (AED10 billion).

The time table has now been pushed back indefinitely, with the RTA saying construction will not begin until "there is a visible need."

The Dubai Metro Purple Line will provide a high-speed link between Dubai International Airport and the under-construction Al Maktoum International Airport in Jebel Ali.

Plans for the original line showed a 49km link with eight stations along its length. It is intended to cut travel time between the two airports to 40 minutes.

"Whenever there is a visible need for this line to be built, it will be built," RTA CEO for strategy and corporate governance Abdul Ibrahim Younis told CW.

Younis said the construction timetable would depend upon the progress of developments surrounding the proposed route, and that any delays to those projects may push back the Purple Line.

"If there are other projects that are delayed, and if they do not require (metro) services, then it will not be built," he said.

Younis said that studies already under way would ensure the Purple Line was built according to the needs of the surrounding population.

"We will make sure that the alignment of the metro line is going through the most high-density areas and the most developed areas," he said.

"The purpose of the construction of the metro is to maximise the capture of passengers surrounding the metro systems in the city."

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