Dubai Metro jam-packed? Max occupancy of 643 per train not yet reached: RTA

4 people per sqm in line with international standards; Earlier Friday timings under review

The total number of passengers using the Dubai Metro in 2012 amounted to 109.491 million, the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) announced this week.

Compared to the previous year, this means an increase of nearly 20 per cent.

Emirates 24|7 asked if this would lead to any adjustments to the preferred public transport means of Dubai.

The peak hour frequency lasts from 6.30-9am, and 4.30-8 pm, while it is extended to 9pm during weekends.

“We have carried out inspections and this seems to have solved the congestion in Dubai Metro during peak hours.

“But we review the situation every other two weeks, and we will adjust the frequency as needed,” Ramadan guarantees.

The same goes for the total Metro space.

“Currently, one train can carry 643 people. This means 4 people per sqm, in line with international standards.

“In reality, it never reaches this level. We will not allow the occupancy level to reach 90 per cent of this. If that is the case, we will respond and make adjustments.”

According to Ramadan the Metro sees occupancy of 70-80 per cent of the maximum number of passengers at most.

“Sometimes congestion occurs because of an uneven spread of the passengers, he explains. “Some passengers do not use the carriages efficiently.

“It is our job to control efficiency of the Metro,” he adds. “We constantly carry out studies and analyse the study results. We base our decisions on these results.”

The latest study RTA carried out will tell whether Friday morning timings will be adjusted and whether Dubai Metro Express is here to stay.

“We did receive some requests to start the Metro services on Friday earlier, but we will have to see if this is feasible. That is one aspect.

“What we also take into account is that RTA carries out maintenance activities during these hours.

Most recent adjustments were made in September, knows Ramadan Abdullah, Director of the Rail Operations Department, RTA.

“We increased the Metro frequency and the number of coaches.”

Dubai Metro peaks between 6.30-8am in the direction of Jebel Ali, and 5-8pm in the direction of Rashidiya.

During these peak hours Metro passengers are seen being packed in, and sometimes embarking was not possible.

“We responded to this by increasing the Metro frequency to 3.5 minutes instead of 6 minutes during peak hours,” explains Ramadan.

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