Dubai Metro Blue Line to commence this year

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced the launch of the Dubai Metro Blue Line project, starting this year. The project will consist of 14 stations, including three interchange stations, connecting important areas of Dubai. According to Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors at RTA, the Blue Line will span 30 km in total, with 15.5 km underground and 14.5 km above ground. Al Tayer highlighted that in 2023, public transport and shared mobility, including taxis, served 702 million riders, with 62 percent using the Dubai Metro and public buses.

He emphasized that the Blue Line project aligns with Dubai’s Urban Master Plan 2040 to accommodate the anticipated demographic growth, estimated at one million people in surrounding areas. Furthermore, it will seamlessly connect with the existing Red and Green metro lines, providing a direct link between Dubai International Airport and nine key areas along its route. Travel times between these destinations are expected to range from 10 to 25 minutes.

13 per cent increase in ridership

The usage of public transportation and shared mobility in Dubai includes various options such as the Dubai Metro, Tram, public buses, marine transport like abra, ferry, water taxi, and water bus. Shared mobility also encompasses e-hail services, smart car rentals, and on-demand bus services. Taxis, managed by the Dubai Taxi Company and other franchises, are also part of the transportation network.

The ridership figures totaling 702 million show a 13 percent increase compared to 2022, according to Al Tayer. He noted that in 2023, the average daily ridership for public transport, shared mobility, and taxis reached 1.92 million, up from 1.7 million in 2022.

Al Tayer attributed these positive trends to significant investments and collaborative efforts to boost public transport. This includes the establishment of key infrastructures such as the Dubai Metro, the world’s longest driverless metro network spanning 90 km, the 11 km Dubai Tram, and the expansion of bus routes from 2,095 km to 3,967 km between 2006 and 2023. Additionally, the modernization of the bus fleet with 1,400 buses meeting European low carbon emission standards “Euro 6” and the operation of an integrated marine transport network including traditional Abras, Dubai Ferry, and water taxis contributed to these improvements.

Highlighting the effectiveness of public transport, Al Tayer mentioned that Dubai Metro accounted for 37 percent of total ridership in 2023, up from 36 percent in 2022. Taxis accounted for 28 percent, slightly down from 29.5 percent in 2022. He considered this shift towards public transport modes as a positive sign, with the share of public bus riders reaching 25 percent and shared mobility increasing from five percent in 2022 to six percent in 2023. Marine transport and Dubai Tram maintained consistent ridership levels at three percent and one percent respectively, reflecting stable usage patterns.

December records all-time high

In December 2023, there was a record-breaking monthly ridership of 64.9 million, coinciding with the UAE hosting the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP28). This was followed by October with 64.2 million riders, and November with 64 million riders. Monthly ridership in other months ranged from 54 to 60 million.

The total number of trips taken via public transport, shared mobility, and taxis amounted to 144 million, with taxis accounting for over 114 million trips and shared mobility for 25 million. October was the busiest month in terms of the number of trips, recording 13.3 million trips, followed by November and December, each with 13 million trips, as explained by Al Tayer.

Busiest Metro stations so far

Data from the Enterprise Command and Control Centre (EC3) revealed that the ridership on Dubai Metro’s Red and Green Lines reached 260 million passengers in 2023, marking a 15 percent increase from 2022.

Burjuman and Union Stations, which serve as interchange stations on the Red and Green Lines, were the busiest hubs for Dubai Metro ridership in 2023. Burjuman Station saw 15 million riders on both the Red and Green Lines combined, while Union Station served 11.9 million riders.

Among Red Line stations, Al Rigga Station recorded the highest ridership with 11.7 million passengers, followed by Mall of the Emirates Station with 11 million, and Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall Station with over 10 million. On the Green Line, Sharaf DG Station topped the list with 9.3 million riders, followed by Baniyas Station with 8.2 million, and Stadium Station with 6.3 million.

Transport riders

In 2023, the Dubai Tram served 8.84 million passengers, marking an increase of 18 percent compared to 2022. Public buses experienced a ridership of 173.5 million, up by 10 percent. Marine transport options, including abras, water buses, water taxis, and the Dubai Ferry, transported 17.43 million passengers, indicating a nine percent increase.

Shared mobility services, which include e-hail, smart car rental, and Bus-On-Demand, carried 43.61 million passengers, showing a substantial growth of 34 percent. Taxis, operated by the Dubai Taxi Company and franchise companies, transported 198.44 million passengers, registering an eight percent increase from 2022.

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