Dubai Metro passengers have welcomed news that hundreds of extra services are to be introduced at rush hour to ease “jam-packed” conditions.
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said on Saturday that 276 new journeys will be put on each week as part of its winter timetable.
Extra services will run short trips between some of the busiest stations. The new timetable will be in effect from Sunday.
Mohammed Al Mudharreb, Director of Rail Operations at the RTA, said: “What will change is people in the middle of the line, like Burjuman station, will not have to wait for the train coming from Rashidiya.
“There will be a train starting from their station, which means they will get the train faster with a lighter load and more space. The aim is to have a better service more than to increase ridership. It is for convenience and to reduce crowds.”
Among the commuters who welcomed the move was Indian expat Saram Mughal, 29, who travels the Red Line from Union to GGICO daily.
She said: “In the evening it’s crazy busy, you’re packed in so tight you’re almost doing push-ups against each other. The Green Line to Etisalat is even worse in the evenings.”
Liudmila Kireva, 32, an office manager originally from Romania, travels on the Red Line from the Mall of the Emirates to Business Bay each day between 5pm and 6pm and said the sheer volume of people is “unbelievable”.
She added: “There are so many people. They have to turn up the air conditioning really high when there’s too many people. And often the smell is too bad.”
A total of 96.5 million metro journeys were made in the first half of 2016, up from 88.2 million in the same period last year.
As per the new timetable, on the Red Line, Dubai Internet City and Al Jafiliya will each have rush-hour morning services departing and running to Al Rashidiya while Burjuman will have trains running to Jebel Ali and back from Sunday to Thursday.
Another commuter who was relived by the news was Khizra Jamel, 28, originally from Pakistan, who works in a bank and commutes from Dubai Marina to Deira City Centre each day.
She said: “In the morning it’s jam-packed in the peak hours – you can rarely find a seat.”
One metro station worker said stations sometimes become so busy that the staff have to implement crowd-control measures, such as stopping passengers from heading to the platforms until they clear.
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