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Dubai: Dubai Metro has achieved a more than 99 per cent punctuality rate, which is the highest of any driverless metro system in the world, Gulf News has learned.

"We are very proud to say that the Dubai Metro punctuality rate is ahead of major driverless metro systems, including the North East Line in Singapore and the Docklands Light Rail in London. Our Metro has achieved a 99.69 per cent punctuality rate in the first six months of its operation from September 9 last year to March this year," said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

"The Metro trains have been keeping good time, beyond expectation, since the operation was launched on 09/09/09. We did face certain technical issues, causing some minor disruptions in operations, but it is quite normal. The Metro remained at the top of the punctuality list of the major metro systems around the world."

A comparison study by the RTA reveals that the Dubai Metro achieved a punctuality rate of 99.47 per cent during the first three months of its operation, compared to the 95 per cent punctuality rate of North East Line in Singapore and the 93.90 per cent punctuality of the Docklands Light Rail in London.

Over the next three months, the Metro improved its punctuality further, reaching an overall rate of 99.69 per cent over the first six months. This exceeds the 97 per cent of Singapore's North East Line and the 96.38 per cent of London's Docklands Light Rail.

Al Tayer said that the Metro and the integrated public bus transport system had received a great response from the public as the number of passengers has been increasing gradually.

The Metro has transported about 80,000 passengers per day in its first six months.

The number is expected to rise to more than 140,000 per day in coming months with the opening of the new Metro stations on April 30. The number of Metro users is estimated to hit 35 million passengers in 2010 and is likely to receive a further boost in August 2011 with the operation of the Green Line, which will serve vital areas with high population densities.

Al Tayer said passengers should not panic if a train is delayed for some reason but follow instructions.

"We have back-up systems in place. If a train is delayed for a little longer period of time for some technical issues, buses are provided immediately to complete the journey between stations," he added.

He said small technical issues happen everywhere around the world.

"We stop running trains in case of even minor issues and don't compromise on the safety of passengers," he added.

Al Tayer said that safety was such that not a single passenger or member of staff had been injured.

Do you use Dubai Metro on a daily basis? How do you compare it to other metro systems around the world?