Thousands of people use the metro each day but its increasing popularity is resulting in overcrowded trains, residents say.
Dubai Metro commuters say trains are too crowded at peak times so more carriages and trains should be provided. Razan Alzayani / The National
Dubai Metro commuters say trains are too crowded at peak times so more carriages and trains should be provided. Razan Alzayani / The National

DUBAI // Commuters have called for more trains on the Dubai Metro during peak hours and more carriages for the services already running.

They say they constantly have to jostle for space and rarely find seats, as the metro has become increasingly popular since its launch nearly five years ago.

There has been a 15 per cent increase in the number of Red Line trains in the first quarter of this year compared with the first three months of 2013, and there are three times more trains on the Green Line over the same period.

But commuters say the system is still too busy.

“Between 8am and 2pm there is a big rush to use the metro,” said Mohammed Yasir, a relations officer at a local bank who travels from his home in Abu Hail to work and meet clients in Jebel Ali.

“There is also a lot of crowds in the evening, especially from the Jebel Ali to Bur Dubai side, even during Ramadan.

“Officials should consider increasing carriages if possible, like they did on the Delhi metro. If not, they should increase the number of seats.”

Mr Yasir said fewer passengers would be forced to stand with different seating.

“If they used benches, more people could sit,” he said.

“Right now there are double seats in each row and that is using up a lot of space.”

One of the cheapest modes of transport in the UAE, the metro was launched by the Roads and Transport Authority in September 2009.

It has been hailed as the world’s largest driverless train system and the first metro in the Arabian Gulf.

The Red Line connecting Rashidiya to Jebel Ali was the first to be inaugurated, with 10 stations, after which the Green Line was opened two years later in 2011, from Al Qusais to Dubai Creek. Forty-seven stations are now operational.

In the first quarter of this year there were more than 40 million rides – 7.3 million more than the first three months of last year – on the metro.

RTA said in April that Deira City Centre, Burj Khalifa-Dubai Mall and the Union stations were the busiest on the Red Line, while Al Fahidi, Bani Yas and Al Ghubaiba stations had the most people on the Green Line.

Metro trains travelled up and down the Red Line 30,400 times in the first quarter of this year, and 23,876 times on the Green Line. But there is still demand for more.

“I have to stand and go,” said Baskaran C T, who works in a grocery store in Tecom and travels from Burjuman station every day.

“The trains should be more frequent as it is very crowded in the evenings when I return home. The busiest times are from 7pm to 9pm.”

Another commuter said riding the metro had its advantages.

“Travelling in Dubai on taxis is expensive,” said Qadeer Hussain, who lives in Abu Dhabi and was in the city for a job interview.

“The metro is cheap that way, and convenient. We need a similar train system in Abu Dhabi and other emirates.”

Pulkit Jangit, who works with a local bank, agreed.

“The best part of the metro is its affordability,” he said. “After Dh14 a day, it is free. I travel by the metro for work and to meet family and friends.

“I would like to use the buses as well but they aren’t as frequent and well connected.”

The RTA was unavailable for comment.

pkannan@thenational.ae

Published: July 10, 2014 04:00 AM

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