Dubai enjoys public transport surge as 461 million trips made in 2021

Figures show significant increase on the 346 million journeys in 2020, highlighting sector's recovery from Covid-19 pandemic

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A total of 461 million trips were made on Dubai public transport in 2021 as the emirate continued to bounce back from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority said an average of 1.3 million journeys were taken each day last year – covering taxis, metro and tram services, buses and marine transport, such as water taxis and abras – up from 948,000 the previous year.

Taxis (34 per cent) and Dubai Metro (33 per cent) together accounted for more than two thirds of all trips made during the year.

The busiest month was December, with 53 million passengers, followed by November with 50 million.

Mattar Al Tayer, director general of the authority, said the figures showed Dubai was back to business as usual after the challenges of Covid-19, with services scaled back in the early months of the pandemic.

“These results confirm that public transport operation is back to normal following Covid-19 and is a reflection of the high confidence of public transport users in the efficiency of the preventive and precautionary measures that RTA had initiated to curb the spread of the pandemic right from the start," said Mr Al Tayer.

"RTA applied the best global practices in coping with the virus. RTA’s efforts also accelerated the recovery of the public transport sector and restored the normal business to pre-Covid-19 levels.

"They have also boosted the confidence of public transport riders in the efficient health and preventive measures taken to protect public transport riders and the staff of public transport means, stations and related facilities."

The public bus service between Dubai and Abu Dhabi resumed in September, 2021 after being suspended in April 2020 when Covid-19 numbers increased and public health restrictions were imposed.

The E101 service runs from Ibn Battuta Mall near Jebel Ali to Abu Dhabi's central bus station.

Public transport keeps Dubai on the move

Mr Al Tayer said 154.7 million journeys were made in taxis, 151.3 million trips were made on Dubai Metro, buses were used 116.3 million times while Dubai Tram was used 5.34 million times.

Marine transport was also a popular option during the year, with 10.94 million journeys completed on abras, water buses and taxis and the ferry.

“Dubai’s public transport network, which is fully integrated, has become now the backbone of people movement around Dubai," the transport chief said.

"The network succeeded in coaxing a change and evolution in the culture and attitudes of all community segments to the use of public transport means.”

Updated: February 20, 2022, 2:47 PM