His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has approved awarding the contract of ‘Route 2020’ project, for extending the Red Line of the Dubai Metro, to Expolink Consortium comprising French, Spanish and Turkish firms at a cost of Dh10.6 billion.
HH directed to immediately start the construction of the Dubai Metro Red Line Extension project and all the requisites of the project to be provided at the highest international standards and within the timeline set, for a launch date of May 20, 2020.
The new extension will serve Expo 2020, which is expected to attract about 25 million visitors during the six month duration of hosting it in Dubai. The project will act as a critical line in serving the needs of demographic growth in the localities surrounding the metro track.
The consortium that was picked by the Roads and Transport Authority of Dubai comprises France's Alstom, Spanish firm Acciona and Gulermack of Turkey, which presented the winning bid.
According to the contract, Alstom would supply 50 trains: 15 serving the Expo, 35 for upgrading the level of service on Dubai Metro.
RTA making announcement of Route 2020
The 15km-long extension work will commence in the fourth quarter of 2016, with Mattar Al Tayer, the Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA confirming the trial runs would commence by Q4 2019.
Speaking to the media, Al Tayer said: "Construction works on the project would start in the final quarter of this year and the trial run is expected to start in the last quarter of 2019."
Al Tayer continued: "The official operation of the service is set to start in the second half of 2020, namely on May 20, five months ahead of the opening of Expo 2020."
Ridership on Route 2020
The capacity of Route 2020 is estimated as 46,000 riders per hour in both directions or 23,000 per direction, with ridership on Route 2020 expected to reach 125,000 riders per day. The number will more than double to 275,000 per day by 2030.
Al Tayer said studies revealed 35,000 riders would use the Expo Station per day during weekdays and 47,000 on weekends.
Route 2020 will branch out from Nakheel Harbour and Tower station and end at the Expo 2020 site near Al Maktoum International Airport, and 11.8km of the route will be elevated while 3.2km will be underground, supported by five elevated stations and two underground stations.
Route 2020 will pass through several densely populated localities with up to 270,000 inhabitants including Discovery Gardens, Dubai Investment Park, Al Furjan and Jumeirah Golf Estates, supporting about 240,000 people. It will connect a major chunk of the city’s population directly with the mass transit system.
The route will eventually also serve Al Maktoum International Airport.