Dubai Metro commuters
Dubai Metro commuters Image Credit: File photo

Dubai: The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced on Saturday a 6.5-percent increase in riders on public, shared transport and taxis for first half 2019.

According to the authority, 296.22 million riders used public, shared transport, compared to 277.91 million riders for the same period last year.

The average daily ridership of mass transit means during the first six months of this year amounted to 1.618 million riders.

Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said, “March was the busiest month during the first half of the year attracting about 53.198 million riders of public transport means.”

Giving a breakdown of the ridership in March, the RTA official said: “18.1m riders used Dubai Metro, 15.7m riders used taxis, 14.3m riders used public buses, 3.2m riders used shared transport (e-Hail and Smart Car Rental), 1.3m riders used marine transit modes, and 555,000 riders used the tram service.

January was the second busiest month recording 51.668m riders, and the monthly average number of riders during the remaining four months ranged between 50 to 45m riders,” he added.

Metro leads the pack

“Dubai Metro has accounted for the highest number of public and shared transport users amounting to (34%), followed by taxis (30%), and public buses (27%). Dubai Metro Red and Green Lines have lifted 101.68m riders during the first half of this year (66.14m riders for the Red Line and 35.54m riders for the Green Line),” revealed Al Tayer.

Busiest stations

“The two interchange stations of the Metro Red and Green lines (Burjuman and Union Stations) have received the largest number of riders. Burjuman Station has served 6.348m riders, and the Union Station has received 5.359m riders.

“On the Red Line, Al Rigga Station was the most populous station as the number of users reached 4.813m users. Next came Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Station, which served 4.573m riders, ahead of Burj Khalifa-Dubai Mall Station (3.904m riders), followed by Mall of the Emirates Station (3.725m riders).

People wait for the Metro at BurJuman station. Various means of public transport in Dubai served 367.657 million passengers last year, an increase of more than 21 million on year. Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News Archives

“On the Green Line, Al Fahidi Station topped the list by serving (3.910m) riders, next came Baniyas Station (3.249 m riders), followed by the Stadium Station (2.904 m riders),” he elaborated.

Other modes

During the first half of 2019, Dubai Tram lifted 3.169m riders, public buses served 79.268m riders, marine transport means (abra, ferry, water bus, water taxi) ferried 7.2m riders.

Officials joined media on the Dubai Canal section of the new ferry service yesterday. People can sit in air-conditioned cabins and take in the sights through large glass windows. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Shared transport means (e-Hail and Smart Car Rental) have served 17.74m riders.

Taxis (Dubai Taxi, Hala Taxi and Franchise Taxis) have lifted 87.813m riders.

Booking Dubai Taxi will be a smooth affair from December 7 this year Image Credit: Gulf News/archive

Public Transport culture on the rise

Al Tayer was delighted with these indicators as they depict the viability of RTA’s plans to provide diverse solutions for people mobility in Dubai.

“RTA’s integrated public transport network has become the backbone of people movement. It has coasted an evolution in public culture towards the use of mass transport. People started to grasp the benefits of using public transport such as the peace of mind, physical relief, higher safety and lower expenses on cars. The figures achieved confirm this concept as the ratio of trips using public and shared transport has almost tripled from 6% in 2006 to 17.5% in 2018 with a compound annual growth of about 9.3% p.a.,” he explained.

“RTA’s strategic and executive plans are focused on offering integrated and smooth transit solutions in the Emirate. Accordingly, RTA worked on widening the reach of public transport network, developing first and last-mile solutions, providing pedestrian and cyclists facilities, and using technology to optimize the efficiency of public transport systems. It has also introduced policies to limit people’s semi-total reliance on private vehicles by offering other transit means (public and shared transport), especially in a city like Dubai where vehicle ownership rate exceeds one vehicle per two persons.”