Dubai: The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority has not abandoned any of its public transport expansion projects, said as senior official.
"Construction of the third line of Dubai Metro called ‘the Purple Line' to connect Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum Airport in Jebel Ali and completion of Al Sufouh Tram project are all still part of the public transport network plans," said Abdul Redha Abu Al Hassan, Director of the RTA's Rail Agency.
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He said no project has been abandoned. "We can't afford to stop infrastructure development in the city," he told Gulf News.
Extension of the Green Line of the Dubai Metro by at least 20 kilometres is one of the major transport projects to be carried out in the near future by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), he said.
"Earlier, the plan was to extend the Green Line from Al Jaddaf to International City on Emirates Road but now we have decided to further extend the Line to the Academic City," he added.
The extension to Academic City will not only serve thousands of students at the universities and colleges in this area but also residents in new developments, he said.
The total length of the Green Line after extension will be 43 kilometres. The 23-kilometre line, which has been completed, is expected to open in August next year.
Al Hassan, however, did not give any details about the cost and construction time for the planned extension of the Green Line.
"The project is under design and its details will be announced after we finalise arrangements to start construction," he added.
He said that all the transport projects planned by the RTA would materialise only after completion of re-evaluation of the transport master plan, which is currently being conducted to gauge the transport needs of Dubai.
"We can't just build Metro in empty areas but we are fully ready to do so as soon as the properties start sprouting up on the planned Metro routes," he said when asked about delays in certain projects.
"I never say they are delayed, rather we are re-evaluating and extending completion time of certain projects including Al Sufouh Tram and the Purple Line of the Metro because of lack of developments," he made it clear.
Al Sufouh Tram's completion date has been extended from 2012 to 2014 but the construction on the project has already begun.
About 9.5 kilometres of the Al Sufouh Tram Project is being built as part of the first phase of the project at a cost of Dh3.18 billion.
The total length of the tram track will be 14.5 kilometres and it will have a total of 19 stations. The tram will be connected to the Red Line of the Metro on Shaikh Zayed Road.
Once completed, the tram will pass through Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai Media City, Knowledge Village, Madinat Jumeirah, Mall of the Emirates and the Burj Al Arab.
It will also link up with the monorail of the Palm Jumeirah at the entrance of the Palm from Sufouh Road.
"The 49-kilometre Purple Line is currently at the design stage," said Al Hassan. It will be a fast track line connecting Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum Airport.
The Purple Line will have high speed trains with a maximum speed of 135 to 160 kilometres per hour, while the average speed of the train will be 100 kilometres per hour.
Green line: Work in progress
The Green Line of the Dubai Metro is set to open in August next year as the construction work is being completed according to the revised schedule, said a senior official.
"Work on the project is moving ahead on schedule and the project is set for opening in August 2010," reiterated Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of RTA.
He said that completion rates at stations on the line currently range from 55 to 100 per cent in the finishing works, 65 to 85 per cent in electromechanical works, and as high as 85 per cent in the Park-and-Ride facilities at Al Ghusais.
Al Tayer also toured various sections of the Green Line project.