A total of seven additional stations will be added to the Red Line, which will open on April 25. Image Credit: Megan Hirons Mahon/Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai Metro has given a boost to the public transport in Dubai as the number of passengers reached an average of 842,000 per day.

According to the statistics released by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) more than 288 million passengers used public transport including the Metro, buses and the marine transport (abra and water buses) in 2009.

"The number of passengers in 2010 is set to grow further with the opening of rest of the stations on the Red Line of the Metro," said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA. He hoped that only the Metro would carry more than 35 millon passengers this year as the users are increasing gradually.

He said the RTA was continuously working on its stratgegic plans to upgrade mass transit modes with a view to making them attractive for public. "The move is in line with our objective to increase the share of public transport users from 6 per cent in 2009 to 30 per cent in 2020," he added.

The RTA figures reveale that in 2009, public bus ridership hit 120 million persons with a daily ridership of 325,000 passengers. Marine transport system including traditional abras and the water bus carried around 17 million passengers.

Since its launch on September 9 till the end of February 2010, some 11.29 million passengers have already used the Metro with average daily ridership of 80,000 commuters. This number is likely to rise with the operation of several key metro stations such as Airport Terminal 1 Station, Karama Station, Trade Center Station and Ibn Battuta Station among others, on April 25.

The Metro ridership will further increase with the launching operation of the Green Line in August 2011 as it serves vital business district areas densely populated residential districts.

Taxi cabs in Dubai make an average of 192,000 trips every day, lifting about 385,000 persons. In 2009 taxi trips exceeded 70 million trips serving around 140.45 million passengers.

"The huge investments pumped by the Government of Dubai in developing the infrastructure of transport sector have proved successful and effective. The rising growth in the number of mass transport users illustrates the evolution of public transport culture among all segments of the community," said Al Tayer.

Has the Metro encouraged you to switch to public transport? Or do you still prefer driving around the city?