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Dubai Metro Vs. Dubai Taxi

The new rail link was once seen as the answer to the emirate’s traffic woes. But given that there are now fewer jams in the city, we ask whether taking a taxi is the smarter choice.

 
Speed
 

A few years ago - and, sadly, before its launch - the Dubai Metro would have been the fastest way to get around the city. The emirate was known for its horrendous traffic: a trip from Mall of Emirates to Dubai Mall could, in the evening rush hour, take more than one hour (it takes nine minutes by metro). But then the recession struck, and the roads suddenly emptied - meaning the metro has less of an edge in terms of speed.

Editor's Score 0

Taking a taxi is, on the whole, quicker. For example, a journey from Dubai Mall to Media City takes 20-25 minutes by taxi, but (with the necessary feeder bus at one end, and short taxi ride at the other) takes up to one hour using the metro. While the metro has the edge in congested areas (around Bur Dubai and Deira, for example), taking a taxi is generally faster, especially when you factor in time spent waiting for trains (currently, up to 10 minutes) and feeder buses.

Editor's Score 1
 
VS

The metro wins, hands down. With unlimited travel on the entire public transport system (metro, bus and water taxi) available for as little as AED9 per day (using a monthly travel pass) or AED14 (using a Silver Nol card), the metro can save you serious money.

Editor's Score 1

Taxis are much more expensive. A ride from Dubai Mall to Mall of Emirates costs around AED30-35 by taxi, but just AED4.10 using the Metro. Over longer distances, the savings are greater. A return trip between Rashidiya and Jebel Ali would cost as little as AED9 using the metro - but around AED200 when taking a taxi.

Editor's Score 0
 
VS

Only 11 stations on the Dubai Metro's Red Line are currently open. The deadline for opening the remaining 18 stations - originally scheduled for this month - has been put back until April, according to a report by Maktoob News. The website also reported that the deadline for opening the Green Line has been extended until November. The fact that there are so few points of boarding makes the metro less convenient than taxis.

Editor's Score 0

Despite the network of 'feeder buses' servicing metro stations, taking a taxi is the most effective way to get from 'A' to 'B'. An improved telephone hotline run by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) means it is even easier to book a cab.

Editor's Score 1
 
VS
Safety
 

According to a study conducted in 2000, there are 20 deaths per billion journeys by railway - compared with 40 deaths per billion trips made by car. So, on the assumption that this trend also applies in Dubai, the metro beats taxis in terms of safety. The rail system also has an impressive array of CCTV and security features.

Editor's Score 1

Evidence shows that - no matter who is driving - travelling by car in Dubai is very, very dangerous. However, things are getting a little better: according to Dubai Police, there was a 23 percent decline in road fatalities last year. According to the annual traffic report, 225 people were killed on the emirate's roads in 2009, compared with 294 in 2008.

Editor's Score 0
 
VS

Nil points for the Dubai Metro. Trains run from 6am to just 11pm on Saturday to Thursday, and from 2pm to midnight on Friday. Bizarrely, the Mall of Emirates station closes an hour earlier in the evening. Not good for those heading home after a late dinner or trip to the cinema.

Editor's Score 0

Dubai taxis run 24/7, 365 days a year.

Editor's Score 1
 
VS

Railways are good for the environment. According to 2006 figures from the US Transportation Energy Data Book, travel by light rail requires 1.825 megajoules of energy per passenger-KM, based on an average occupancy of 22.5 passengers per train.

Editor's Score 1

According to US figures, travelling by car requires 2.302 megajoules of energy per passenger-KM, based on an average occupancy of 1.57 passengers. This means that travelling by taxi is more polluting than using the Dubai Metro.

Editor's Score 0
 
VS
Karma
 

It's not all about the pesky environment. Scientific* research conducted by Kipp has found that using the Dubai Metro brings you good karma. Though Dubai is often described as a 'melting pot', it's more of a lumpy stew, with residents of different backgrounds not mixing as much as they could. Travelling by metro encourages interaction between the city's residents.

[* note - it wasn't scientific]

Editor's Score 1

While the majority of conversations with taxi drivers revolve around the 'where are you from/how long have you been in Dubai?' theme, Kipp has had some fine (and memorable) conversations with the city's cabbies. And so it's a 1-1 draw on the karma stakes.

Editor's Score 1
 
VS

The Gulf will be an oasis for trainspotters within a few years. There's a proposed GCC-wide rail network on the cards, as well as a UAE network - both of which will probably link in with the Dubai Metro. So make sure you top up your Nol Card.

Editor's Score 1

Pollution; a return of the notorious traffic; increasing petrol prices; more expensive taxi fares. With all of this a distinct possibility, travelling by taxi looks set to be less and less attractive in the years to come.

Editor's Score 0
 
VS

Editor's Score 5

Editor's Score 4
 
VS

Kipp's verdict: the Dubai Metro just clinches it.

 

2 Comments

  1. Verbal on February 1, 2010 1:18 pm

    That's not the score I should have got. Pretty much all of my scored went to Dubai taxi, but when the results came through the Dubai metro was ahead.. very strange…

     
  2. mohamed ragab - egypt on February 15, 2010 4:06 pm

    le metero es plus rapid contre le taxi .. mais les trains sont plus dangereux .. an autre regarde les trains peut diminuent le polution

     

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