Dubai: The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) responded rapidly to a Dubai Metro disruption and helped passengers after a truck tyre fell on the track on Monday, a senior official said.
Mohammad Yousuf Al Mudharreb, director of operations at the RTA’s Rail Agency, said the response team was on the scene within 15 minutes of an alert that an object was on the track between the Jebel Ali and Danube stations.
The alert was received by RTA Control Room officials at around 5am, during a routine “security sweep” of the track before the day’s passenger service had started.
The sweep is done on both Red and Green Lines going in both directions.
“The train had stopped automatically and alerted the Control Room. We responded as the object, if it’s big, needs to be assessed. ‘What is its source; how did it end up in that location?’
“We carry out deep investigations. We always have contingency plans in place, and involve different departments, so the Metro keeps running smoothly and safely for our passengers,” Al Mudharreb added.
Investigators learnt the tyre had fallen on the Metro viaduct, causing damage on the rail section, after a road accident between a truck and a vehicle on the bridged intersection near Jebel Ali Metro Station.
“After investigating fully, and as per our safety procedures, we suspended the service in one direction at some stations for the safety of our passengers,” Al Mudharreb said.
Many RTA buses were scrambled to the affected stations — Jebel Ali, Energy and Danube. “We arranged with the Public Transport Agency of the RTA. We have contingency plans for situations. So it was a like a Metro service in both directions between the affected stations, but instead of a Metro it was a bus.”
He added that the RTA also coordinated with taxis so they could be sent to the stations if some passengers wanted to use taxis as an alternative within the affected area.
The impact of the disruption was also minimal, the director added, as the affected section “has low ridership going to industrial areas. We carry 500,000 passengers daily.”
Meanwhile, the Metro was fully operational and running in both directions at all other stations.
Even at the impacted stations, Al Mudharreb added, the Metro ran in both directions by using a single platform instead of the usual two platforms.
At the Danube station on Monday afternoon, some passengers were not aware of the morning’s incident. There were regular announcements guiding passengers to use the Rashidiya platform for both directions. Also in place were signs directing passengers to “replacement bus” services. Meanwhile, the Jebel Ali-bound side of the station was sealed off. Taxis were also available when Gulf News visited early afternoon.
Al Mudharreb said based on the available assessment at the moment, services were expected to return to normal by Tuesday.
He added that the attention the track section needed would be carried out during “engineering hours” after service timings ended on 12am Tuesday.
“This is Dubai, even if there is a big incident, they will clear it up,” said an Indian passenger at Danube who did not know about the morning’s disruption.