Dubai Metro

Metro users 40% up on pre-launch estimates - RTA

The number of Dubai Metro passengers in the first two months of operation is about 40 percent higher than pre-launch estimates, transport bosses have said.

Nearly three million passengers have used the Dubai Metro since the September 9 launch at an average of 57,000 trips per day, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTAsaid.

It also revealed that new services for the elderly and students were to be launched in 2010, with free travel being one option for the elderly and reductions for students.

"We have hit three million passengers on the Metro, which is fantastic," said Peyman Parham, Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications, RTA in comments published by Emirates Business on Monday.

"The daily number has been lower on week days and higher on weekends, averaging at about 57,000 per day. But there were a few days when it went to 90,000 to 100,000. The total number is 40 per cent higher than we expected," he added.

The authority also said it had sold about 1.2 million Nol cards to date, of which 900,000 are multiple-use silver cards.

On future services, Parham told the paper: "We will soon have services for senior citizens and students, which will launch in the first half of 2010. The senior citizen population size is small but we want to honour them. Chances are we won't charge them.

"We are seeing feasibility at this point, but that will be a great gesture and looks likely. For students we have to cut price. We don't know by how much at this moment, but it should be more than 30 percent."

The comments come after a YouGov survey published last week revealed that 59 percent of Dubai residents had yet to ride the metro.

RTA expects passenger numbers on the Red Line to reach 100,000 per day once it is fully operational. The remaining 19 stations are due to open by February 2010 but the RTA has not yet decided whether to open them in phases or all at once.

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