DUBAI: Park-and-ride Metro users may be charged in future as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) contemplates a tariff for motorists who roll their vehicles into two multi-level parking facilities on the 52-km Red Line to discourage abuse and optimise use.
The number of users currently averages around 2,500 vehicles per day, a senior RTA official said.
Ramadan Abdullah, Director of Rail Operations, said: "Yes, the RTA will levy a charge and the date will be announced later."
The two park-and-ride facilities can hold as many as 5,700 cars — 2,714 in Rashidiya station in the north and 3,000 at Nakheel Harbour and Tower in the south.
Both stations have parking control and metering systems installed months ago.
They are currently unused, but the RTA has staff in place to prevent abuse.
"Car parking at train stations will be free of charge for users of public transport provided that passengers exit the car park 60 minutes following the last use of public transport," Abdullah said.
He added that there has been no reported abuse of the free park-and-ride facility by people leaving their car for days or weeks before going on holiday. "The public should use this facility, which is free. Right now, they are under-utilised, but usage will increase as these facilities are designed for a 20- to 30-year lifespan."
To discourage long-term parking, a fee of Dh10 per hour and a maximum of Dh50 per day applies for park-and-ride users who don't use the public transport.
No customer may leave their vehicle at a Metro car park longer than 24 hours. Those who leave their vehicles for more than a day are slapped with a fine.
"After 24 hours we issue a warning and a fine. After 48 hours we have the vehicles removed by the police."