Dubai: The first trains travelling straight from Al Rashidiya to Expo 2020 metro station were off to a good start on Tuesday (June 1) and commuters no longer had to switch trains at Jebel Ali interchange station if they’re headed towards any station on Route 2020.
Two new stations on Route 2020 opened on Tuesday. Aside from Expo 2020 Station, the Dubai Investment Park (DIP) station, an underground metro station that spans 27,000 sqm in area and extends 226 metres in length, also became operational on June 1.
The opening of the two new stations comes six months after the opening of the 15-km extension on the Red Line, Route 2020, which started its maiden journey on January 1 initially with four stations — Jebel Ali (transfer station on the Red Line), The Gardens, Discovery Gardens, and Al Furjan.
Hassan Al Muttawa, director of rail operations at Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), told Gulf News: “The opening of the two new stations on Route 2020 today (June 1) is geared towards serving the industrial, residential and commercial communities that surround the area. Staff working at the Expo will also now have a more comfortable public transport.”
Faster and more convenient
Dubai residents working at Dubai Investment Park (DIP) welcomed the opening of the new metro station in their area. They said commute has become faster and cheaper. A Filipino expat who works as an IT (information technology) staff at DIP said: “From now on, I can save at least 15-20 minutes of travel and I no longer had to take a taxi going to the office as the station is just next to our building.”
According to the RTA, DIP station can serve 13,899 riders per hour during peak times and 250,000 riders per day. The station has two boarding platforms, four bus stands, 20 taxi stands and two parking slots for people of determination. It also offers eight outlets of 315 square metres for commercial investment.”
Reminders were repeated regularly over the public announcement system telling passengers heading towards the UAE Exchange station to switch trains at the Jebel Ali interchange station. Metro staff were also on hand to personally guide the passengers which platforms to take on the first day of route change on the Red Line.
Those heading towards UAE Exchange Station from Al Rashidiya had to change trains at Jebel Ali interchange station to continue their journey to Ibn Battuta, Danube, Energy, and UAE Exchange stations. Consequently, trains coming from UAE Exchange Station now terminate at Jabal Ali and passengers going to Al Rashidiya had to switch trains at this interchange station.
The travel time from Al Rashidiya to Expo Station is one hour and 14 minutes, with service frequency every 2 mins and 38 seconds during peak time, at a rate of 24 trains per hour per direction. The travel time between Jebel Ali and UAE Exchange station is 11 mins and 42 seconds, with a constant service frequency of 7 mins and 30 seconds.
The first train headed straight towards Expo 2020 metro station left at 5am. Service to Expo 2020 Station, however, was initially made available only to those with access to the Expo site. The general public can use the Expo 2020 Station when Expo 2020 Dubai officially opens to the public on October 1, according to the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
Ahmed Alkhatib, chief delivery and development officer at Expo 2020 Dubai, welcomed the opening of the Expo Metro Station. “I can also now take the Metro going to work,” he told Gulf News during an interview.
He added: “At this stage, Expo 2020 Metro Station is open only to those given access or accredited to enter the Expo site. Employees, workers and staff can now use the Metro going to work and the public can use the Expo 2020 Station from October 1, in time for the opening of the Expo.”
The majority of the riding public may not see it yet but the Expo 2020 Station is a sight to behold, with every inch of its 18,800 sqm area representing Dubai’s vision of the future.
“The Expo 2020 station, which boasts a unique design featuring the wings of an aircraft, represents Dubai’s drive towards greater innovation. It spans an area of 18,800 square metres, with a total capacity of 522,000 riders per day in both directions at a rate of 29,000 riders per hour in both directions,” Abdul Mohsin Ibrahim Younes, CEO of the Rail Agency at RTA, earlier said during the opening of Route 2020 on January 1 this year.
Soon to open
Meanwhile, only the Jumeirah Golf Estates Station has yet to open. It will start operations coinciding with the opening of Expo 2020 Dubai. It is the biggest underground Metro station on the entire Dubai Metro network, spanning 28,700 sqm in area and extends to 232 metres in length. It has a capacity of 11,555 riders per hour during peak time and about 250,000 riders per day. The station has two train boarding platforms, four bus stands, 20 taxi stands and two parking slots for people of determination, in addition to 14 outlets for commercial investment and an area of 466 square metres for 4 trading outlets.
Total metro length
Including Route 2020, the total length of Dubai Metro (Red and Green lines) now stands at 90km, while the overall rail network in Dubai is at 101km, including the 11km Dubai Tram track.
According to the RTA, Route 2020, which has an 11.8km elevated track and a 3.2km underground track, was built not only for Expo 2020 but also to serve around 270,000 residents living in the fast-growing communities along the route. There are also plans to connect Route 2020 with Al Maktoum International Airport to ensure a modern metro link between Dubai Airports.