Gold rush: Over 1,236 passengers were fined for using Gold Class without valid NOL cards during the last two months alone. A total of 7,398 passengers were fined on this count in 2012 Image Credit: GN Archives

Dubai: Dubai Metro has issued over 8,600 fines to people travelling in the Gold Class without valid NOL cards in the last year, a top has official said.

Ramadan Abdullah, Director, Rail Operations, told XPRESS that 1,236 fines were issued in the last two months alone. A total of 7,398 fines were issued in 2012, up from 2,839 in 2011. The increase has been attributed to the increase in the number of Metro trips and the number of passengers.

Those travelling in the Gold Class with a Silver card are fined Dh200. They include passengers who cheat by paying their fare with the Silver card, but show the Gold card when inspectors check them. Electronic tracking devices give them away and failure to produce the NOL card during an inspection also incurs a fine of Dh200.

However, Abdullah said there is no mechanism yet to detect repeat offenders.

He said tourists travelling in the Gold Class with invalid tickets are often let off with a warning. Such passengers are usually asked to move to another compartment at the next station.

One regular Gold Class passenger said: “This is very common at stations like the World Trade Centre where visitor traffic is heavy.”

Another passenger said fines must be levied on those who occupy seats meant for pregnant women and the elderly. “They don’t get up from these seats unless they are asked to by the Metro staff,” she said.

The RTA monitors passengers and ticket violations on the Metro and frequency of random inspections is changed accordingly. Abdullah said Dubai Metro sold a total of 342,003 Gold cards in 2012.