Dubai: A third route called the Blue Line will be added to the Dubai Metro system, for which the groundbreaking ceremony was held on Tuesday.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, flagged off the construction work of Dubai Metro at the groundbreaking ceremony in a hall which resembled an underground Metro station.
"The Metro project is a stepping stone to other developments in the transport system including road and water transport," Mattar Al Tayer, Executive Director of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority, told delegates at the ceremony.
Abdul Majeed Khawja, Director of Dubai Metro Department, told Gulf News that the Blue Line will serve communities along the Emirates Road. It will be 47km long and will provide a shuttle service between Dubai International Airport and the new airport at Jebel Ali, he said.
"The Blue Line will be operational in 2011. Currently, we are in the process of appointing consultants," Khawja said, adding that both the Red and the Green Lines will be extended to cope with the demands of the expanding city. The Green Line will be extended to the Business Bay and the Red Line will be extended to Jebel Ali Port.
"The Metro is designed to achieve an integrated transportation solution, taking into consideration other modes of transport including buses, taxis and abras [water taxis]," Al Tayer said. "The aim of transport integration is to complement these other modes of transport and incorporate strategic bus/boat feeder points with flexible and user-friendly Metro interchange stations."
The integrated system is expected to be used by 46,042 passengers per minute during peak hours in 2010 and 118,335 passengers per minute at peak hours by 2020. Al Tayer said the RTA's goal is to provide a safe and secure transport system for all, in line with the vision of Shaikh Mohammad.
The contract to construct the Dubai Metro was won in May last year by the Dubai Rapid Link consortium headed by Mitsubishi Corp of Japan.
Each Metro station will have its own car park, taxi stand and bus stop for rapid change-over. The RTA will also introduce a unified fare policy for trains, buses and water taxis.