With many Dubai streets experiencing traffic gridlocks, especially during peak hours, motorists are now considering ditching their vehicles and taking the Metro instead.
The last few days have seen a marked increase in traffic, possibly due to schools re-opening. Cars are seen snaking their way out of Al Nahda area on week-day mornings.
“It’s impossible to move an inch in the morning,” reported an exasperated motorist Sashi, who had moved into a two-bed apartment in Dubai’s Al Nahda side to reduce his daily commute time.
“Our plan has backfired. Last month, it took me just 15 minutes to drive from Zulekha hospital to Al Ittihad road, but now it takes nearly 25 minutes just to drive from Zulekha hospital to the traffic junction, near the Ministry of Labour. It’s crazy,” he added.
The key, some believed, in tackling peak traffic jam, was to leave before 7am. “The traffic situation changes drastically after 7am. If you want to beat the traffic, at least some of it, then head out before 7am,” reasoned Shurti Tyagi, an Al Nahda resident.
The time strategy does work for some. “I literally rush out of the house so that I can drive out before 7am. If I’m even a few minutes late, then it’s chaos on the roads,” endorsed Andrew.
And, those unable to manage time to tackle traffic woes, believed that public transport might be the only solution in the long run.
“Before it made sense to take the car instead of the Metro, but now, I think it works the other way round. Earlier, the drive to work would be 30-minutes long, while the Metro ride would be 45 minutes. But now it takes 30 minutes just to complete half the journey.
“It just makes better economic sense to dump the car and take the Metro.”
Rishi, another daily commuter, added that while the Metro ride does save substantially on the pocket, it also cuts travel time.
“Taking the Metro is better than being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. At least, you can read a book, or finish some work calls. Either way, you can use your time productively.”
Some even go as far as to say that taking the Metro will have a good impact on the environment. “Instead of burning petrol and polluting the environment, it makes sense to take the Metro,” explained Lyn.
In fact, many commuters had earlier abandoned Metro journey because of its slow pace. “Once it hits Sheikh Zayed Road, there are so many stations lined up one after and another. But looking at the traffic situation now, I think it’s time to rethink the travel plan,” added Rishi.
The Al Nahda area has seen a marked increase in population, with many residents crossing over from Sharjah to save on peak-hour traffic and to escape the occasional power outages.
“I moved from Sharjah because I wanted to save on travel time. But the last few days have been extremely tough, with the traffic congestion increasing substantially,” informed another daily commuter Rishab.
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