DUBAI: Metro riders accounted for over a third of Dubai’s public transport ridership during the first half, which rose to 275.77 million from 273.45 a year ago, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said on Saturday.
The figures translate to about 1.5 million daily commuters in Dubai’s public transport systems including the Dubai Metro, the Dubai Tram, buses, taxis and various marine transport modes, the RTA added.
“The public transport means have now become the backbone of people mobility in various parts of Dubai, and the preferred transit option for a huge segment of Dubai residents and visitors,” Mattar Al Al-Tayer, the RTA director-general and chairman, said in a statement.
During the six months to June, Dubai Metro’s Red Line — which runs between Rashidiya and Jebel Ali — serviced 64.37 million riders while 36.18 million commuters used the Green Line, which runs between Dubai Creek and Al Qusais.
The Dubai Tram recorded 3.08 million passengers in the first half, compared with the 2.53 million year-ago figures.
About 87.79 million passengers meanwhile took cabs — including those from the Dubai Taxi, the Hala Taxi as well as franchised taxis — during the first half, or about 3 percent higher than the 85.19 million registered during the same period of 2016.
Public buses served 77.69 million riders during the first half, up from 69.92 million a year ago, while marine transport services ferried 6.64 million passengers as of June.
Dubai has undertaken major projects to improve transport facilities, and has resulted in higher public transport ridership to 16 percent in 2016 from only about 6 percent a decade earlier.
“If we add taxis, the share would shoot to as high as 24 percent,” Al-Tayer said, and added that the emirate wanted to push the ridership to 20 percent by 2020 and 30 percent by 2030.
Dubai Metro’s Green line is undergoing a Dh10 billion, 15-kilometer extension in preparation for the emirate’s hosting of the Expo 2020 where an estimated 25 million visitors are expected to arrive for the event.
The seven-station extension is scheduled to enter into service in May 2020, five months before Expo 2020 opens.
“Achieving smooth and accessible mobility in the emirate hinges on providing integrated solutions in terms of improving and broadening roads network and crossings, and upgrading various components of mass transit systems such as the metro, tram, buses and water transport means,” Al-Tayer said.