Dubai residents on Metro train Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News archives

Dubai: A new survey has revealed that 20 per cent of Dubai Metro users have cars but would rather take the Metro for their daily commute.

The survey, carried out by an independent consultant for the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), revealed some interesting facts.

Almost 70 per cent of Metro users who were surveyed over the past few months said they used the Metro to save time. The Metro’s affordability was also a key factor.

According to the survey, out of 500,000 average daily Metro users at least 100,000 are car owners. The study revealed a growing number of people prefer the Metro over driving as it is more convenient, affordable and reliable.

Some 50 per cent of people choose the Metro to commute between work and home but it is also popular among tourists and shoppers.

More than half of the people who use the Metro are below 30, while around 30 per cent are in the 30-40 age group.

An overwhelming majority of Metro users are educated — 55 per cent are graduates, 17 per cent are diploma holders, 10 per cent are postgraduates and 15 per cent have completed high school.

“The survey throws up quite a few surprises. The common public perception about a mass transit system is that it is normally used by low-income groups or the elderly but the survey shows that the trend is changing. The younger generation and educated people are using the Metro, even though they have cars,” Abdullah Yousuf Al Ali, Acting CEO of the RTA’s Rail Agency, said.

“It reveals the social fabric of Metro users and where the future of public transport is moving in Dubai. It is really an interesting peek into the class of people using the Metro and how more and more people are opting for public transport as a reliable means for their daily commute,” he added.

However, the majority of Metro users belong to the low-income category, with 60 per cent of them earning below Dh5,000 per month. However, 26 per cent of Metro riders belong to the middle-income group, drawing salaries between Dh5,000 and Dh10,000.

Nine per cent of Metro users draw a salary of up to Dh20,000 and five per cent earn more than Dh20,000.

‘Great boon’

Mohammad Sarfaraz, a regular Metro user who earns more than Dh10,000, says the Metro is a great help.

“My job involves travel but I don’t like driving all the time. The Metro comes as a great boon for people like me, I can just hop on from one location to another without the headache of finding parking and getting caught in a traffic jam. I can’t afford to get caught in traffic, this is where the Metro comes in handy for me,” said Sarfaraz.

Another regular commuter, Natalie from Thailand, said she uses the Metro for her daily commute to work as well as for shopping and leisure.

“The Metro has come as a great lifeline for people like us who can’t afford to buy a car. It is reliable and time-saving and, most importantly, it is affordable,” said Natalie, who works in a salon.