Dubai Metro 'ready and waiting' for testing

Dubai Metro authorities said they are receiving four trains from suppliers every month.

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DUBAI // Dubai Metro authorities said yesterday they are receiving four trains from suppliers every month as they gear up for the launch of services next year. Abdul Majid al Khajah, the executive director of the Roads and Transport Authority's metro division, said at a Ramadan majlis at the Dubai Press Club that the rolling stock was going through intensive testing of brakes, power supply and other technical aspects.

"We are ready for an official launch at any time," said Mr Khajah. He added that 90 per cent of work on the Red Line, which runs from Jebel Ali to Al Rashidiya, was completed and ready for formal tests on the track. "We are ready and are waiting for the higher authorities to set a date for the formal testing. Sixty per cent of work has been completed on the Green Line as well." The Red Line is due to be launched next September but tests on the track are expected to be carried out this month.

Trains are to be divided into gold, silver, and women and children sections. The officials would not confirm metro ticket prices. "The fares will be announced in a month or two," Mr Khajah said. "We can say that the gold class fares would be different from the silver class." Abdul Muhsin Younes, the RTA's executive director for strategy and corporate governance, spoke at the majlis about the second phase of the Salik toll system, which is causing bottlenecks near Al Safa and other areas.

"At the beginning there are bound to be problems," he said. "Soon, we will see that motorists would diversify and move to other roads that we want them to use." He said the objective of the tolls was to discourage people from using their cars. "Anyone with Dh450 in their pockets can buy a car in Dubai. The Dh4 charge on Salik is to discourage people from using their cars and thus solving the traffic problems."

He added that the introduction of the tolls had resulted in a reduction in the number of trips that people take on the main highways, in addition to increasing the average speed on Sheikh Zayed Road by 30 to 40 per cent.