9.09.2009: Dubai Metro opens

Posted on September 9th, 2009 by Jim

Hi from Dubai  and Choooooo Chooooo to you.

The Dubai Metro officially opens today but the city’s commuters will have to wait another day before they can take a ride on the £4.5bn transport system.Its construction has been the emirate’s largest infrastructure project in more than a decade, and an army of overseas workers laboured day and night to meet the deadline as featured in this random slide show of how it all came together:

YouTube Preview Image

It is the world’s largest automated driverless train system – with just under 75km of magnetic track. The Metro will be able to carry up to 27,000 passengers in each direction every hour.

metro

The carriages boast air conditioning, wi-fi and mobile phone reception while a gold class cabin with leather seats and plush pile carpets offers panoramic views at the front of the train.  Sadly mountain bikes & surfboards will be banned and I’m not aware yet if coffee will be allowed!

Most commuters only care about its congestion-beating ability as this place was bumper to bumper before the economic crash. The ambitious project has had to defend a budget spike of 75% – with the estimated cost rising from an estimated $5 bn to about $9 bn.  The Road and Transport Authority also announced that only 10 of the Metro’s 29 stations would be opened and we’ll have to wait unil March 2010 before the benefits of the system really kick in.

While Cairo and Tehran already have metro systems, Dubai’s network is the region’s first mass transport system in more than a decade. It ensures Dubai’s ambition to be the Middle East’s number one metropolis remains on track but is it sustainable considering the current economic climate?

So all aboard here for comments as the Dubai public transport system gets one step closer to reality. Mind the gap and share your view on public transport right here!


10 Responses to “9.09.2009: Dubai Metro opens”

  1. In Southern California…it is what public transportation? Ours is really bad which part of the reason why traffic gets so congested.

    I wonder what Walt Disney would say about this?
    .-= Clinically Clueless´s last blog ..Suicide: A Personal Story =-.

  2. Purple13 says:

    You got to sell a lot of tickets to get that amount of money back on a project.

    Sounds a bit like the Channel Tunnel project. As much debt as that’s in , you simply can’t close it – can you?
    .-= Purple13´s last blog ..Engraved silver money boxes – ideal for christenings =-.

  3. Hey Jim,

    Did you steal how I prefer to write my dates?

    cc :-) .-= ClinicallyClueless´s last blog ..Suicide: A Personal Story =-.

  4. Red Dog says:

    I drove alongside about 15kms of the route today and only saw one train. Bit weird that, they were either all hiding in the stations or it’s broken already.

    Maximum spin on the launch though, as one would expect in this part of the world. As you mentioned Jim only 10 of the stations opened and most of them are only partly operational.

    Coffee is banned, along with all other eating and drinking.

    Remain to be seen but I can’t see the Emiratis riding it, gold carriage or not. They’re not going to wait on the platform with the ‘lower’ classes.

    They’ll never recoup their money, but I don’t think that was the point. This was started in a time of the biggest boom and also 18 months ago when traffic was interminable, both things which have reversed subsequently.

    By the way I noticed MoE and City Centre Mall have reversed their decision to charge for parking at the weekends.

    • Jim says:

      I didn’t know they’d cancelled the parking charges in the malls…good news. I do wonder though how passengers will get to and from the stations in the heat of the summer….

      Plus – women and kids only carriages I’ve heard?

  5. Ejamala says:

    Wow, looks like an awsome place! I’ve never been to Dubai, but I would love to go sodaemy Yeah, it’s really nice to spend time with the family, and just be with them Have a nice weekend! ^^

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