From left clockwise: Cyrus Belgamvala, Juliot Vinolia and Huneza Othman Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: For thousands of residents who struggle to commute daily from their neighbourhoods to work and back, the news of a new Dubai Metro route has come as a breath of fresh air.

Route 2020, a planned extension of the Red Line, will pass through densely populated areas such as Discovery Gardens, Gardens, Al Furjan, Dubai Investment Park and many others, covering a distance of 14.5 kilometres.

Connecting the Red Line with the Expo 2020 site near Al Maktoum International Airport, the route is dotted with seven stops at key locations, offering residents of the surrounding localities a new mobility option.

“I think it will be a great idea ... for the residents of Gardens and Discovery Gardens. I am really looking forward to [it]. It will save us the current hassle of driving and finding parking,” said Huneza Othman, a long-time Gardens resident.

According to RTA estimates, around 240,000 people live in areas through which the new route will pass, and even if 25 per cent of these people start using the Metro, there will be a huge impact on the traffic in these areas, which are currently clogged.

“The extension of the Metro will encourage a lot of people to use it in the future, helping them avoid traffic and all the [other] hassles. Right now, most of us who live in Discovery Gardens depend on our cars for daily travel, which might change once we have an accessible public transport option,” said Juliot Vinolia, a resident of Discovery Gardens for the past six years.

Current Metro users are more excited at the news of its extension. “I use the Metro often, particularly when I have to travel long distances like going to the other side of the city,” said Mubeena Sabir, a resident of Gardens. “Right now we have to either park at Nakheel Harbour and Tower station before taking the Metro or use the Ibn Battuta station, which is very crowded. Having a Metro station inside the neighbourhood will be convenient, helping us avoid the hassle of driving and parking.”

Families who currently have to keep a second car for errands, groceries or for dropping children to school, are also eager to have a transport option in their neighbourhood.

“Gardens, Al Furjan and the surrounding areas are residential neighbourhoods with thousands of families living in them. Most families here have to keep a second car for housewives to run errands and attend to other emergencies as getting a taxi or a bus in these areas is not easy and the Metro station is far. Therefore, a Metro passing through these neighbourhoods would be great as those of us who don’t use it now will definitely begin to do so,” said Cyrus Belgamvala.

The 14.5km route is expected to be ready by 2018 and is also expected to have a connectivity with Etihad Rail near Al Maktoum International Airport.