All aboard... Metro ser­vices in­creased

New timetable to keep things on track

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Shoshana Ke­dem @B_shosh

Hun­dreds of ex­tra Dubai Metro ser­vices are to be in­tro­duced at rush hour to ease the strain on what com­muters de­scribe as “jam-packed” trains.

The Roads and Trans­port Au­thor­ity (RTA) said 276 new jour­neys will be put on each week as part of its winter timetable. Ex­tra ser­vices will run short trips be­tween some of the busiest sta­tions. The new timetable will be in ef­fect from to­day.

Mo­hammed Al Mud­har­reb, Di­rec­tor of Rail Op­er­a­tions at the RTA, said: “What will change is peo­ple in the mid­dle of the line, like Bur­ju­man sta­tion, will not have to wait for the train coming from Rashidiya.

“There will be a train start­ing from their sta­tion, which means they will get the train faster with a lighter load and more space. The aim is to have a bet­ter ser­vice more than to in­crease rid­er­ship. It is for con­ve­nience and to re­duce crowds.”

Com­muters last night wel­comed the move, say­ing that rush-hour ser­vices are chock-full ev­ery day.

In­dian ex­pat Saram Mughal, 29, who trav­els the Red Line from Union to GGICO daily, said: “In the evening it’s crazy busy, you’re packed in so tight you’re al­most do­ing push-ups against each other. The Green Line to Eti­salat is even worse in the evenings.”

Li­ud­mila Kireva, 32, an of­fice man­ager orig­i­nally from Ro­ma­nia, trav­els on the Red Line from the Mall of the Emi­rates to Busi­ness Bay each day be­tween 5pm and 6pm and said the sheer vol­ume of peo­ple is “un­be­liev­able”.

She added: “There are so many peo­ple. They have to turn up the air con­di­tion­ing re­ally high when there’s too many peo­ple. And of­ten the smell is too bad.”

A to­tal of 96.5 mil­lion metro jour­neys were made in the first half of 2016, up from 88.2 mil­lion in the same pe­riod last year.

As per the new timetable, on the Red Line, Dubai In­ter­net City and Al Jafil­iya will each have rush­hour morn­ing ser­vices de­part­ing and run­ning to Al Rashidiya while Bur­ju­man will have trains run­ning to Jebel Ali and back from Sun­day to Thurs­day. Another com­muter who was re­lived by the news was Khizra Jamel, 28, orig­i­nally from Pak­istan, who works in a bank and com­mutes from Dubai Ma­rina to Deira City Cen­tre each day. She said: “In the morn­ing it’s jam-packed in the peak hours – you can rarely find a seat.” One metro sta­tion worker said sta­tions some­times be­come so busy that the staff have to im­ple­ment crowd-con­trol mea­sures, such as stop­ping pas­sen­gers from head­ing to the plat­forms un­til they clear.

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