Are you a Dubai Metro commuter? Then you need to know this…

Posted on Jul 4, 2017 by

prepares for closures affecting the world’s longest driverless single metro line…

Dubai Metro

If you regularly use the Dubai Metro’s Red Line running from the Rashidiya Station to the UAE Exchange Station you will need to consider interruptions to the line over ten weeks starting from the end of this month.

Specifically the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced closures affecting the Red Line during Friday and Saturday of every weekend from July 28 to October 14. The closures have been introduced by the RTA as part of constructional changes scheduled per the Route 2020 project plan, envisaging the extension to the Red Line in time for the World Expo kicking off in Dubai in two years’ time.

When launched the 75km-long Dubai Metro held the Guinness World Record for the longest driverless metro network in the world, having since been narrowly beaten by Vancouver’s 79.6km long SkyTrain network. Dubai’s Red Line, however, at 52.1km long, is still considered the longest driverless single metro line.

In total the Dubai Metro comprises 47 stations, nine of them underground, with two main transfer stations and 87 trains in service. Operating hours on Fridays are normally from 2pm to midnight, and on Saturdays from 6am to 11pm, but as part of the Route 2020 construction plans there are parts of the Red Line that will be closed during those hours between the stated dates.

Route 2020 is planned for completion in the final quarter of 2019, with a projected cost of AED10.6 billion

Director of Rail Operations at the RTA’s Rail Agency, Mohammed Yousef Al Mudharreb, explains: “The constructional changes require a partial closure of the rail track of the Red Line between Jumeirah Lakes Towers Station and Ibn Battuta Station during weekends (Fridays and Saturdays only) over 10 weeks starting from 28 July up to 14 October 2017.”

Al Mudharreb says commuters have the option of an alternative plan set up in place to compensate for the temporary Red Line closure, in the form of free shuttle bus services between the two affected stations.

Given the increased traffic during the affected weekend hours the RTA has conducted field studies to ensure efficient transfer of commuters between the two stations, with plans for an automatic operation system to ease use.

“Metro commuters heading towards the UAE Exchange Station need to get off at JLT Station, take a free bus ride to Ibn Battuta Station and then continue their journey by metro in the direction of the UAE Exchange Station, “ adds Al Mudharreb. “Metro riders travelling in the direction of Al Rashidiya Station need to get off the metro at Ibn Battuta Station, take free bus rides to JLT Metro Station and then continue their journey on the metro in the direction of Al Rashidiya Station.”

Route 2020 is planned for completion in the final quarter of 2019, with a projected cost of AED10.6 billion. The contract has been awarded to a consortium of French, Spanish and Turkish companies called Expolink which additionally covers an extension of 15km to the Red Line from Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station to the site of Expo 2020. The 15km extended line includes an 11.8 km viaduct, and a 3.2 km underground track. Seven new stations will be added to the Red Line, and the and the first test runs will be undertaken in 2019.

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