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Open the stations already!

Open the stations already!

The RTA has announced that of the eight unopened stations on the Metro Red Line, not all will be opened as promised.

August 31, 2010 2:15 by

The front page of the National announces that the final eight stations on the Dubai Metro Red Line will not all be opened by October as promised. Instead, the RTA says it will announce the opening date for each station in due course. The delay is down to low projected numbers of probable users and a lack of development around stations, says Ramadan Mohammed, the director of rail operations at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

“We will open some stations by the end of the year, in the fourth quarter,” Mohammed said. “Some stations we may keep closed longer. All eight will not be opened at the same time. It will depend on the ridership figures we get. We are constantly getting data.”

So the stations are ready, but they’re not going to open them.

Kipp has had to sit quietly and count to ten. We want to yell – no, scream – about a dozen questions at the RTA right now. If the areas where you built a station don’t need a station, why did you build it? Have you ever heard of cause and effect? Perhaps if these stations were open you would see traffic increase, maybe even encourage more development in the area. If the stations are ready, why not just open them anyway? You’re not seriously telling us that the running costs are anything compared to the cost of building the thing. What about the people, though they may be few, who want or need those stops? Maybe they even moved to an area fully expecting the station to open when you promised, now they are stranded in the flat they bought because you promised them a working metro station and they’re stuck because you now say it’s not viable. When are the stations going to open? When someone comes along and builds a high rise next to them?

In other major world cities, metros, subways, tubes, buses – all forms of public transport stop at all the stops. That’s why they call them stops. And they do this regardless of how many people get on or off, because every person’s journey is as important as the next and because they know it is important and worthwhile to keep communities connected and to provide the possibility of a journey before people will choose to take it. In Dubai it seems we have one of the world’s most state of the art transport systems being run by people with their heads in the past.

We once heard that Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision was for Dubai to be the place where everything works. Perhaps the RTA should bear this in mind, and get our metro stations open.

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  1. SirEd on September 2, 2010 2:19 pm

    Like all developing countries UAE is also steadily heading in the right direction. This is the need of today and the Government is doing it’s best to take the country towards energy self sufficiency by developing its nuclear capability for peacful means.

  2. Dieder Schmidt on September 6, 2010 4:51 am

    Update from RTA – Due to strategic reasons, errr..we’ve decided to turn these stations into mini-malls with little food courts in them. Part of the stations will also have ‘freehold platforms’, so people can buy and sleep or live there. We think there’s more money in that than the piddly 5 AED those miserly metro commuters give us.’


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