How to beat Dubai traffic chaos on New Year’s Eve
If you were among the hundreds of thousands who celebrated last year’s New Year Eve stranded in Dubai traffic thanks to the half a million people that Emaar reckons descended on Downtown Dubai to usher in the New Year, here’s some good news for you.
This year, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has unveiled a master plan for the management of traffic and public transport means spanning the Dubai Metro (Burj Khalifa Station, Financial Center Station, Business Bay Station), public buses, and taxis during the New Year’s celebrations at Burj Khalifa area in order to streamline the traffic flow and ease the mobility of visitors to and from the event venue.
The plan entails making the Dubai Metro run round-the-clock on the day, and incudes the deployment of 63 buses and 4,000 taxicabs to transit up to 400,000 commuters to Burj Khalifa.
“The plan includes expanding the operational hours of the Dubai Metro into a non-stop service past the midnight of Sunday January 1 (24 hours) and increasing the service frequency to every 3 minutes in the stations from Al Rashidiya up to Ibn Battuta during the peak hours from after 12 midnight up to 5:30 in the morning,” Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, said in a statement.
Additionally, the RTA has enhanced the metro service at Burj Khalifa through separating entry and exit points, improving operational efficiency of the station by installing four additional gates as well as modifying two gates in order to ease public mobility within the station and avoid overcrowding at the station during this period, besides improving the movement in the Financial Center Station and Business Bay Station.
Al Tayer said the plan was developed by RTA in coordination with the Dubai Police and Emaar in order to streamline the traffic flow and ease the mobility of visitors to and from the event venue.
“The RTA, in coordination with the Dubai World Trade Center and Meydan, has made preparations for utilizing the existing parking space in order to create about 10,000 parking slots and provide access to the venue through express bus service,” he added.
“RTA will deploy 63 articulated, double deck and standard buses to shuttle from the parking lots of Meydan Racecourse, Dubai World Trade Center, General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs, and Zabeel Park, through a dedicated express lane leading to the events venue. It will also deploy about 4,000 taxicabs to work round the clock which are expected to make more than 30,000 trips from and to Burj Khalifa.
“The Boulevard Street at Burj Khalifa will be closed once the parking slots are full to avoid potential traffic congestions in the area. RTA will also reset the programmed timing of the key light signals on the Financial Center Street to fit the traffic volumes generated during the peak hours, and deploy makeshift virtual messaging signs on the main roads to alert commuters about the condition of the parking space in Dubai Mall.
“Due attention has been made to the maximum capacity of all available transit systems to enable transiting about 400,000 persons to the event site (Burj Khalifa) from 07:00 am up to 12.00 am (after midnight) expected to lift about 260,000 commuters at the Financial Center, Burj Khalifa, and Business Bay stations of Dubai Metro.
“About 50,000 passengers are expected to be served by public buses from and to the specified parking facilities, 51,000 passengers through the taxicabs, and 50,000 commuters at the Dubai Mall parking space. Departure service from the venue will start at 12.30 am up to 05.30 am and the maximum of transit means will be 263,000 persons, of which 151,000 persons for Dubai Metro, 50,000 persons for public buses, 12,000 persons for taxicabs, and 50,000 persons for commuters using Dubai Mall parking space,” added the Chairman of the Board & Executive Director of the RTA.
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