Taxi: I casually saunter out of BurJuman, where a long line of vacant cabs eagerly awaits.
Taxi: I’m already on the move. Even sweeter, I spot Daisy slogging to the bus stop in the mid-afternoon heat while I recline in AC bliss. Short straw, anyone?
Car: At a red light between Karama and Mankhool in a sea of cars. Where are all these people going on a Saturday afternoon? A metro train rockets by in all its blue and silver glory. Green light! Whoopee!
Metro: I manage to find my way out of BurJuman after only, er, three minutes.
Metro: In the station, surrounded by people snapping photos; bizarre to think I’ll turn up in the background of someone’s Facebook page. I am directed to the (un-signposted) Jebel Ali line.
Taxi: Having waited at traffic for an age, we hit Sheikh Zayed Road. The road looks pretty clear – very promising.
Car: I glance over to where the Burj Al Arab sits, reminiscing about the day that she was the toast of the town. Seven stars never seems to go out of fashion.
Taxi: I’m drawing level with the Burj Al Arab when, for the first time since we started out, I see a train running parallel to me on the left. Is James on it? I reckon he must be. I start imagining his victory dance and it’s enough to make me consider turning back.
Metro: No victory dance. No train, even; still waiting on the platform.
Bus: I’m sitting on a ledge in front of Spinneys waiting for the bus. Getting sweatier by the minute.
Car: Muppet that I am, I’ve absent-mindedly missed the MoE exit and am now on my way to Media City. Four minutes later I am back on track, my car hungry for a parking spot in the maze that is the MoE parking lot.
Taxi: I’m near Mall of the Emirates metro station now, and the train’s pulling in. I already feel defeated.
Metro: The train arrives after 10 minutes of thumb twiddling. The crowd converges on the doors. I eschew gold class and its leather luxury, for I am a man of the people. Viva la transport revolution!
Taxi: As we pull up at the mall entrance, the meter reads Dhs36. I pay and prepare to leg it to Après.
Metro: The metro gives the perfect viewpoint on The Burj Dubai; thanks to the elevation, you can see it from top to glittering bottom. Sadly, the tuneless, endlessly repeating music playing in the carriages is driving me nuts.
Bus: The bus is here! Finally!
Metro: The scenic views are gone: Al Ghandi Auto is no Burj. The music makes me want to kill someone – possibly everyone.
Taxi: ARRIVED! Having been directed entirely the wrong way three times, I finally find Après. No one’s there. A quick text to James confirms that I won. Woo hoo! I treat myself to a browse in Virgin Megastore.
Car: ARRIVED! Get to Après, but my mini-detour cost me a good six minutes. Damn Laura’s non-digressing, ox-like focus. I demand a do-over.
Metro: We arrive at the station. Everyone remains un-murdered.
Bus: We’re zooming up Sheikh Zayed Road at a good pace, and we pass the Four Points By Sheraton. Maybe this won’t take that long after all.
Metro: The ticket barriers and escalators are overcrowded, so it takes a good six minutes to even get out of the station, and a further three to get into the mall proper.
Metro: ARRIVED! I finally arrive at Après. Third place! Outrage. Good job I don’t pay taxes or I’d ask for them back.
Bus: I pass by an ominous sign pointing to the Al Quoz graveyard. Awesome, we’re already in Al Quoz. The mall’s got to be close.
Bus: I see a sign pointing to Barsha. Seriously, how much further?
Bus: The bus finally stops, letting us out in the middle of nowhere. I could take another bus to the Mall, but I can’t stand waiting any longer. I lurch towards the first cab that passes my way.
Bus: ARRIVED! After a well-deserved swig of water, I admit to catching a cab. They agree that, after two hours on a bus, this is not a punishable offence.
Winner: taxi (30 minutes; Dhs36) Second place: car (35 minutes; Dhs10 for parking) Third place: Dubai Metro (50 minutes; Dhs6.50) Last place: bus (135 minutes; Dhs4.10) The result: The road remains the fastest means, but the metro is the cheapest. We’ll see how the four fare again in six months, when roads are busier and the metro system is more complete.
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tolits Sep 16, 2009 09:25 am
What is RTA doing on the clamour of majority of the commuters? The USE of the NEW card is VERY INEFFECTIVE. Everyone is complaining since the start of the METRO. I thought, the METRO is a good move and a benefit to commuters but as per observation..its a BURDEN.
I stay in Satwa and whenever I am at the bus station, I see a long line of commuters busy recharging their cards. Some would say, the machine is not functioning...blah..blah..blah..What is this?
And last night, I felt so DISGUSTED when I came to know that drivers are no longer allowed to sell cards so I was forced to go home by taxi. Drivers should have been telling us about this so that we would know what to do. CONFUSING! RTA should do something about this.
BananaMan Sep 15, 2009 07:56 am
Dan Sep 15, 2009 07:13 am
What makes the so called "cheap" Metro even more interesting is that for a family of 4 for a 2-way trip, the cost works out to approx Dhs 52.
And let's not forget that around 5 stations are not yet operational on this route. Add approx 10 mins to the Metro trip once these get working.
So its clear then. Even after paying for Salik, fuel etc,(or even a Taxi), the Metro is : more expensive, much slower, and far less comfortable than using your own car - or even a taxi.
Expect the standard "Dubai Solution" to this : Make cars a LOT more expensive to own & drive and force us to use their Train. It'll be Rentals v/s Freehold all over again. Remember those happy times ?
Umar in Dubai Sep 15, 2009 06:50 am
Good comparison. It also depends on time of the day. During rush hours metro would be fastest but in the off-peak hours nothing can beat your own car (or taxi). Looking forward to see this again in 6 months.
Naseem Sep 15, 2009 06:03 am
the car should have won anyway... usually its hard to catch a taxi during busy hours... plus you should keep in mind to calculate fuel and salik and parking when driving in private car. you can also calculate the cost you pay for your car as installments and servicing by stretching the cost over 30 days.