So the final station on the Dubai Metro Red Line opens today – the Energy station between Ibn Battuta and Danube. This is the last of the 29 stations to open on the red line since it started on 09/09/09.
The Energy station will serve more of the Jebel Ali community and will be served by the F44 Feeeder Bus which will also stop at Ibn Battuta as well as serving people who live in the Gardens Community. It will run every 20 minutes during peak hours and every 25 minutes for the rest of the day.
In another change to the red line services, peak hours on the Dubai Metro will start half an hour earlier at 6.30am on weekdays.
Emirates 24/7 reports that users of the Dubai Metro and indeed other forms of public transport will be able to use their smart phones for check in and out on public transport services from today if they have a specially registered SIM card.
The new service is being activated through both Etisalat and Du and can be used on certain devices.
So today marks the 4th anniversary of the opening of the Dubai Metro network. It was a bit of a rush at the time to get it all finished in time for the auspicious opening date of 9/9/9 at 9.09pm but everything was put in place and Sheikh Mohammed opened the Metro system to a select list of invitees that evening.
Since then, even with the massive financial downturn delaying the opening of some of the stations, it has generally been an overall success and has given millions of people a cheap way to travel to and from work or even just for social or pleasure reasons. Like any major transport system it has it’s odd glitches but this is to be expected. Overall though the problems have not been major and have been quickly overcome.
Now that the Red and the Green lines have been open for some time there are now plans underfoot to extend these lines to reach out to more residential communities further out from the existing terminals. It has always been in the minds of the planners to extend the Dubai Metro, but it has been a case of when it is financially viable and when those communities were ready for the expansion. One such community is International City which has long been ready for the Dubai Metro to arrive as the bus to Rashidiya is a tedious journey to get to the Dubai Metro terminal and International City is home to over 25,000 people.
The expansion will include the extension of the Red Line from Rashidiya to Mirdif and the Green Line from Al Jadaf to Academic City. It is hoped that the construction work will start some time next year and the lines will be operational some time before 2020.
The RTA are continually looking for expansion plans for the Dubai Metro with more lines planned further into the future.