By Elizabeth Broomhall
Dubai Metro's second line to add eighteen stations and 23km to emirate's existing rail network
HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE prime minister and vice-president and ruler of Dubai, opened Dubai Metro’s long-awaited Green Line on Friday. [photos]
The official opening ceremony was held at the Dubai Healthcare City Station, exactly two years after the launch of Dubai Metro's Red Line.
The Metro’s second line, which has added eighteen stations and 23km to Dubai’s existing rail network, will provide low-cost transport for passengers living in the older areas of the city such as Deira and Bur Dubai.
“Dubai is well,” Sheikh Mohammed said, speaking at the opening ceremony. According to Bloomberg, Dubai's ruler said Dubai has overcome the financial crisis that forced it to delay debt payments two years ago. He also expressed his concern about the debt crisis in some European countries.
Dubai's residents will be able to travel on the Green Line from Saturday.
Speaking to reporters after the Green Line’s opening, the chairman of Dubai’s transport authority thanked Sheikh Mohammed for his support for the Metro project and for all Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) projects.
Matter Al Tayer said the benefits of the project were numerous, the most important of which was the infrastructure of Dubai.
“The economy of Dubai is good because the infrastructure is ready to be utilised,” he said.
“The network is fast and accessible and in addition, it is green - it is also tourist friendly.”
Al Tayer also applauded contractors for their work on the Green Line and said residents should be pleased with the results.
“This project owes them [contractors] a great deal – it was a mammoth task. This project is unique and it may not be repeated in Dubai.”
“Congratulations to all the inhabitants of Dubai – everyone ought to be proud,” he added.
The Green Line’s starting point is Etisalat station, at Al Qusais near Emirates Road, before moving to stops Al Qusais, Airport Free Zone, Al Nahda, Al Qiyadah station on Al Ittihad road, Abhu Hail, Abu Baker Al Siddique, Salahuddin and then Union station, where both metro lines intersect.
It then moves through Baniyas Square, Palm Deira, Al Ras, Al Ghubaiba. Al Fahidi, Khalid Bin Al Waleed and to Dubai Healthcare City.
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With opening of this new line, Dubai Metro has become the world's longest fully-automated metro network.
All of the Green Line’s stations have been opened to the public except Al Jadaf and Creek Stations, as the real estate developments they were intended to serve, are yet to be completed.
Fourteen trains will operate along the new line during peak hours, which will be reduced to ten trains during off peak hours.
The maximum wait time for a train will be between six and eight minutes, and tickets will cost the same as those for the Red Line.
The Red Line, which opened on Sept 9, 2009, as the first phase of the Metro’s network, has proved extremely popular among tourists, expats and locals, boasting more than a million passengers in the first two weeks of operation.
It is hoped that the Green line will boost the number of passengers using the Metro each day from 190,000 to more than 250,000, and significantly reduce traffic congestion in the emirate.
Adnan Al Hamadi, chief executive of the Rail Agency at the RTA, said he expected as many as 100,000 passengers per day in the first two weeks of operations.
As of today, commuters using the Metro’s Red Line will able to switch to the Green Line at Union and Khalid Bin Al Waleed stations.
Passengers living in communities close to Green Line stations will also be connected to the Metro by a network of buses running every fifteen-twenty minutes in a feeder system.
As many as 456 buses will be launched today, running along as many as 39 different routes.
Earlier this year, the CEO of Dubai’s Metro’s operator Serco said he was confident that problems encountered with the rail system’s Red Line would not reoccur with the Green Line.
The main problems with the Red Line stemmed from a lack of public education on how to use the Metro, and from the operation of automatic doors, he said.
Media reports also cited overcrowded stations, frequent delays due to misuse of trains by passengers as well as signalling issues which forced the closure of some stations.
In an interview with Arabian Business, Zafar Raja said the “minor” and “early snag issues” had now been dealt with.
“We have been preparing ourselves for the Green Line for well over a year now and I am pleased to say that everything is on track,” he said.
“We learnt a lot from the first opening and we have taken those lessons into account in during project planning for the Green Line. We are very confident that all of those minor issues have been overcome.”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.
now my address in Dubai is besides the northern entrance of Airport Free Zone Metro Station on Green Line
Congratulations to HIS Highness and all the responsible personnel and divisions which took so much effort for bringing the Metro
Congratulations to HIS Highness Sheikh Mohammed, Ruler Of Dubai, a great achievement during this time of Global crisis. I sincerely hope the country and its people benefits form this.