Complex Made Simple

Public transport ridership in Dubai hits 531m riders in 2014

H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), revealed that public transport means of the RTA, comprising the Metro, tram, buses and marine transit modes (abras, ferry, water taxi, water bus) in addition to taxis (Dubai Taxi and franchise companies), have lifted in 2014, according to RTA’s Statistics Section, 531.350 million riders compared to 440.672 million riders in 2013, and 367.657 million riders back in 2012.

Accordingly the average daily ridership of public transport means in Dubai clocked about 1.475 million riders; which compares well with the average of 1.3 million riders recorded in 2013 and about one million riders in 2012.

“The public transport network in Dubai, which is almost complete in terms of modes with the launch of the Dubai Tram on 11/11/2014, has become a key element in the mobility of people in various parts of the Emirate of Dubai. RTA’s efforts in this regard contributed to the rising numbers of public transport means riders across the board. The share of public transport in the mobility of people has leapfrogged from 6% in 2006 to 14% in 2014 and the RTA is endeavouring to push it to as much as 20% by 2020.

Moreover, the RTA has managed to transform the culture of various segments of the community and their attitudes towards using public transport. People have started to grasp and feel the benefits associated with the use of mass transit means such as the physical comfort, peace of mind, financial saving, high safety, lower expenses of car usage in terms of fuel and maintenance among others.

“The RTA is proceeding with the efforts to make public transport systems the first choice for people, be it citizens, residents or visitors, in their daily mobility to work, home or have a time out. The RTA has ambitious future plans for upgrading roads infrastructure as well as the composition and efficiency of public transport system, and delivering smart services to the public.There are more than 35 mega projects in hand highlighted by the designing and undertaking public transport means for the hosting of Expo 2020 including the extension of the Red Line of the Dubai Metro, upgrading roads & junctions leading to the site of Expo, and procuring new trains to keep up with the sustained growth in the number of metro users in the lead up to 2020 such that passengers can have better services.

“The RTA is also planning to broaden the coverage of bus network to reach 16 new areas, improve services in 19 areas by 2020, and uplift the water transport means which is anticipated to experience huge growth with the launch of the Dubai Water Canal linking the Business Bay with the Arabian Gulf.

“The Dubai Metro, both the Red and Green Lines, lifted last year 164.307 million riders compared with 137.759 million riders in 2013 and 109.491 million riders in 2012. The number of riders using the Red Line of the Dubai Metro saw a considerable growth compared to 2013 and 2012 with the ridership rising steadily from 71.914 million riders in 2012 to about 89 million riders in 2013 and shot to around 104 million riders in 2014. The ridership of the Green Line grew from 37.576 million riders in 2012, to 48.873 million riders in 2013 and continued the upswing in 2014 to hit 60.289 million riders. Thus the average daily ridership of the Dubai Metro last year exceeded 450 thousand riders and the figure went past the half million mark during holidays.

“Since launched on 11/11/2014 till the end of December last (50 days),the Dubai Tram has lifted about 531 thousand riders. The public bus ridership last year hit 135.5 million riders compared with 115.67 million riders in 2013 and 107.8 million riders in 2012. The average daily ridership of public buses was 371 thousand riders compared with 321 thousand riders in 2013, and 299 thousand riders in 2012.

“The public bus route users accounted for the lion share of the total number of users of buses serving 91.888 million riders, followed by metro stations feeder bus service which accounted for 24.432 million riders, inter-city bus service lifted 12.89 million riders and corporate bus rental service served about 5.8 million riders.

“Marine transit means, comprising abras, water bus, water taxi, and Dubai Ferry have lifted about 13.26 million riders last year recording a slight increase from 2013 level which was 13.223 million riders. Abras accounted for the largest share of marine transit mode users serving about 12.613 million riders and the rest is shared by the Water Bus, Water Taxi, and Dubai Ferry.

“Taxis in Dubai (Dubai Taxi, Hala Taxi and franchise companies) lifted last year 108.875 million riders in more than 217.751 million trips compared to about 174.018 million riders in 2013, and 137.39 million riders in 2012. Dubai Taxicabs of the RTA have alone made 46.675 million trips in which it lifted 93.35 million riders. The ridership of Hala Taxi service which was launched by the Dubai Taxi Corporation last May clocked about 2.355 million riders whereas the ridership of franchise companies (Cars Taxi, National Taxi, Metro Taxi, Arabia Taxi, Hala Taxi Cars, and City Taxi) lifted about 122.45 million riders served in 61.022 trips,” said the Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA.

Al Tayer was delighted with these indicators which depict the effectiveness of plans and programs undertaken by the RTA in providing a variety of options for moving people in Dubai.

“The strategic and executive plans for roads and transport pursued by the RTA based on the principle of integration i.e. achieving smooth & accessible mobility in the Emirate, hinges on the provision of integrated solutions comprising improving and broadening roads network and crossings, upgrading various components of mass transit systems such as the metro, tram, buses and water transport means, enhancing the technology used in traffic & transport systems to ensure the optimal utilization and highest efficiency of the roads and mass transit system, adopting policies capable of reducing the semi total reliance of the public on private vehicles and increasing peoples’ reliance on other transit systems including public transport, and encouraging journey-sharing practices especially in a city like Dubai where the ownership of private vehicles is as high as one vehicle per two persons among residents.”