DUBAI // More than 23 million people have used the Metro since its launch, according to new figures from the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). The RTA opened seven more stations in April and a further three in May, taking the total number of operational stations on the Red Line to 21 out of a planned 29. Mattar al Tayer, the chairman and executive director of the RTA, said "People have started to perceive the benefits and advantages of using public transport, such as the psychological and physical comfort [and] reduced fuel and vehicle maintenance costs, besides the contribution of using public transport to effectively cut road accident deaths and reduce carbon emissions from vehicle exhausts."
Releasing the figures yesterday, he said last Thursday was the busiest day yet for the Metro, with 130,529 taking the train. Khalid bin al Waleed, near the BurJuman mall in Bur Dubai, was the busiest station, with 3.1 million passengers over the first nine months. Al Ittihad in Deira was the second busiest, with 2.9m passengers, and Deira City Centre was third with 2.1m. Al Rashidiya, which has parking for nearly 2,000 cars, had 1.8m passengers. The opening of the new stations had attracted an extra two million passengers to the Metro, Mr al Tayer said.
Of the new stations, Ibn Battuta was the most popular, with 466,554 passengers, followed by Karama, with 275,817, and Dubai Marina, with 231,663. Emirates Airlines Station had 150,670 passengers and Terminal One at Dubai International Airport had 116,000 passengers despite initial rules - now overturned - that banned luggage bigger than a carry-on-bag. Of the 10 new stations, the least frequented was GGICO, with 93,058 passengers.
A senior RTA official has said that the remaining eight stations will open by the end of October. The Green Line, which is delayed, is scheduled for completion in August next year. @Email:email@example.com