The crowded BurJuman Metro Station during rush hour. According to the RTA, the highest ridership of 49.065 million on public transport was recorded in March 2017 Image Credit: Atiq ur Rehman/Gulf News

Dubai: Popularity of public transport continues to increase in Dubai with the average daily ridership reaching 1.51 million last year.

According to statistics revealed by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) on Saturday, 551.7 million commuters used public transport last year, up from 543.6 million in 2016.

The figure includes the combined ridership of Dubai Metro, which is now the most popular mode of transport covering 36 per cent of the total ridership, tram, buses, marine transport as well as taxis.

Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA, said Dubai Metro is now the most popular mode of transport in the city, ahead of taxis (32 per cent) and buses (28 per cent).

He said Dubai Metro continues to grow in its popularity with the ridership increasing every year.

“Last year, Dubai Metro lifted 200.075 million riders compared to 191.3 million riders in 2016. The Red Line saw a healthy growth in 2017 clocking 128.054 million riders compared with 121.6 million riders in 2016. The Green Line also saw an increase in ridership, carrying 72.021 million riders up from 69.7 million riders in 2016,” said Al Tayer.

Among the stations, BurJuman and Union stations, which are the two transfer stations at the intersection of the Red and Green lines, accounted for the biggest chunk of riders with BurJuman station recording 12.45 million riders, and the Union station clocking 10.979 million riders.

Among the other stations on the Red Line, Al Rigga station was the busiest with 9.335 million riders followed by Deira City Centre station with 7.709 million riders and Burj Khalifa station with 7.596 million riders.

On the Green Line, Al Fahidi station topped with 8.137 million riders, followed by Baniyas station with 6.647 million riders and the Stadium station with 5.757 million riders.

In the monthly breakdown, March recorded the highest ridership of 49.065 million users of public transport.

According to Al Tayer, Dubai Tram has also seen a steady growth over the last few years, with the 2017 ridership reaching 6.023 million, up from 5.4 million in 2016.

With Dubai’s public bus network expanding across the sprawling urban areas of the city, the ridership has also recorded an increase with 155.032 million riders last year, up from 151.1 million in 2016.

“Comprising a full range of integrated services, the public transport network in Dubai has become the backbone of people’s mobility all over the city. RTA’s efforts, in this regard, contributed to the growing number of public transport users across the board. The share of public transport in the mobility of people has leapfrogged from 6 per cent in 2006 to 17 per cent in 2017,” said Al Tayer.

He added that the RTA has managed to transform the culture of various social segments and their attitudes towards using public transport.

“People have started to grasp the benefits associated with the use of mass transit means such as peace of mind, financial savings, higher safety and lower expenses of car usage in terms of fuel and maintenance, among others,” said Al Tayer.

Al Tayer added that with Dubai vehicle ownership ratio being as high as one vehicle per two people, RTA plans to further push the use of public transport by offering various integrated solutions.

He said the authority is focused on encouraging carpooling to bring down the number of vehicles on Dubai roads.

Public transport ridership

551.7m: Overall ridership

200.75m: Dubai Metro

155.032m: Buses

175m: Taxis

13.06m: Marine transport

6.023m: Dubai Tram