Dubai: Officials are studying the possibility of extending Dubai Metro’s services to two more stations, a senior Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) official told Gulf News.

The authority expects an increase in ridership of five per cent annually.

“RTA is currently studying the possibility of extending services to two more stations — one on the Green Line and one on the Red Line,” Ramadan Abdullah, Director of Rail Operations at Dubai Metro, told Gulf News.

Four stations, two on the Green Line (Jedaf and Creek station) and two on the Red Line (Jebel Ali and Energy station), still remain closed, although work on the stations was completed long ago. These stations were not opened since the areas where they are located were unlikely to get sufficient ridership.

RTA is so far not able to confirm which stations they are considering opening.

“We are looking at whether two of these stations can be opened. The study looks at factors such as the population density and traffic congestion of the surrounding areas as well as the expected ridership.”

He said that RTA is also exploring ways to attract and sustain metro users at these stations.

Since its launch three years ago, the metro has significantly increased the number of people using public transportation in the city with an average of 300,000 passengers using the metro every day.

Explaining how the metro has helped popularise the use of public transportation, Abdullah said that Dubai Metro’s punctuality rate is above 99 per cent, which is one of the best compared to other metro systems around the world.

Facilities such as door systems, escalators and customer care also rank high, he said.

“We are edging very close to our targets for public transportation usage.”

During his trips, Abdullah said that he has found that some passengers are unaware about monthly passes which could help commuters save money. “Monthly passes present good deals for passengers and come at competitive prices. Like the monthly pass which costs Dh100 that allows passengers to travel to one particular zone any number of times or the pass which costs Dh270 that allows to travel across every zone any number of times.”

He advised regular passengers to consider these options.

He also urged the public to make use of bicycle parking spaces allotted for Dubai Metro users. It was introduced as a means to eliminate haphazard parking of bicycles and provide a safe and secure alternative.

RTA also plans new metro lines, under the approved rail master plan, to construct 24km and 12 stations by extending the current Red and Green lines by 2020.