Dubai on the move as 1.6 million public transport trips taken per day

Transport chiefs are urging more people to leave their cars at home

Dubai's public transport network saw an average of 1.6 million journeys taken every day this year.

The city's transport authority recorded a 6.5 per cent rise in passenger numbers in the first half of 2019 compared to 2018 - though that is largely down to recording journeys taken with Uber, Careem, Udrive and ekar for the first time.

It recorded 101 million trips in the metro between January and June and in total there were 296 million trips taken on publicly-owned transport. The metro and publicly-owned taxis accounted for the bulk of total journeys at 34 per cent and 30 per cent respectively, with buses accounting for 27 per cent.

Metro and bus fares are among the cheapest in the developed world, with tickets starting at a few dirhams.

"People grasp the benefits of using public transport such as peace of mind, physical relief, higher safety and lower expenses than by car," Mattar Al Tayer, director-general of the Roads and Transport Authority.

"The figures achieved confirm this concept as the ratio of trips using public and shared transport has almost tripled from 6 per cent in 2006 to 17.5 per cent in 2018."

Burjuman and Union metro stations remain the busiest transport hubs in the city, serving 6.3 million and 5.3 million passengers per day. Both stations allow passengers to change between the red and green lines and are in busy residential areas.

DMCC station in Jumeirah Lakes Towers is the third busiest with about 4.5 million passengers passing through.

The RTA included 'shared mobility' use in its figures for the first time, revealing that 17.7 million journeys were taken with ride-share providers Uber and Careem and pay-per-minute car rentals udrive and ekar.

The authority has linked up with companies like Careem to allow passengers to book Careem's cars or the RTA's publicly-owned taxis.

Mr Al Tayer said more provisions are being made to encourage residents to use public transport, "especially in a city like Dubai where vehicle ownership rate exceeds one vehicle per two persons".

Last week, the city launched a new commuter ferry between Dubai and Sharjah to help cut notoriously heavy traffic between the two emirates.

The vessels run 42 times daily between Al Ghubaiba on the Creek to Aquarium Marine Station in Sharjah and cost just Dh15 per trip.