A milestone for public transport

People travelling on the Dubai Metro. Pawan Singh / The National
People travelling on the Dubai Metro. Pawan Singh / The National

More and more people around the world are moving to cities and urban areas. Therefore, pressures on urban infrastructure will come to define the next 100 years of human existence. In the UAE, governments have been moving forward with a variety of infrastructure projects to help our emirates operate more efficiently with better public transport. One of the most successful infrastructure projects, the Dubai Metro, just celebrated its seventh anniversary.

Over the course of its lifetime, the Metro has completed more than 830 million passenger journeys. That is 830 million journeys using public transport instead of a private car. The result has been less traffic in Dubai and greater ease of movement for residents and tourists alike. The positive effect that the Metro has had on the city is not lost on urban planners and has resulted in plans to extend the Red Line by 16 kilometres from Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station to the site of the Expo 2020.

There are other places where Metro expansion could have a major effect. Connecting Dubai to Sharjah would dramatically improve traffic conditions between the two emirates. In fact, the challenges of Sharjah traffic are an example of what Dubai would be like without a metro system. With more and more people moving to Sharjah but working in Dubai, the creation of a metro link would alleviate stress on the road system – and on drivers.

Public transport infrastructure projects are also underway in Abu Dhabi. The capital’s bus system is being improved with the creation of new stops and more frequent services. Additionally, roads are being upgraded to help traffic flow more smoothly. But there is always more that can be done.

We are moving to a post-oil economy that will invariably change the way that we use cars to get from point A to point B. This gradual change will necessitate the creation of bigger public transport projects. The Dubai Metro, in just seven years, has demonstrated what a positive effect these projects can have on how our cities function.

Published: September 10, 2016 04:00 AM