A total of 1.5 billion people rode Dubai’s metro between the day it opened on September 9, 2009 and the end of August this year, according to Mattar Al Tayer, the director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors of Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

In comments marking the 10th anniversary of Dubai’s metro system – the world’s longest driverless metro project – Al Tayer revealed that the 39 million riders used the metro in 2010, its first full-year of operations, which rose to 69 million the following year.

In 2012, the year after the launch of the metro’s Green Line, riders rose to 109 million. By 2015, the metro transported 179 million riders, finally breaking the 200 million mark in 2018, when it hit 204 million riders.

“Currently, Dubai Metro serves about 650,000 commuters daily, a record that significantly surpasses the number forecasted in studies commissioned at the design phase of the project,” Al Tayer added.

Additionally, Al Tayer said that overall use of public transport has grown from 6 percent in 2006 to 17.5 percent in 2018. By 2030, Dubai’s RTA hopes to raise the number to 26 percent.

Key pillar

In statements marking the anniversary, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said that the metro is a “key pillar of our infrastructure.”

“It reflects the advancement of our plans to adopt solutions that make life easier for people,” he added. “Our investments in this sector reflect our keenness to create the best solutions for easy and safe mobility for all.”

In a series of tweets marking the event, Sheikh Mohammed revealed that initial plans for the metro were met with resistance by some government members.

“Back then, I consulted members of the Executive Council in Dubai whether they support the idea or not,” he said. “Some reject it, under the pretext of people’s non-acceptance of the use of metro.”

The goal of having a metro in Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed said in another tweet, was born when he was still a young boy.

“I was 10 years old when I visited London in 1959 with my father who insisted to see a train’s cockpit,” he said. “50 years later, Dubai Metro came true in 2009. Nothing is impossible if you can dream it.”

Dubai’s Metro has an on-time departure rate of 99.7 percent. From the start of operations until last January, the metro completed 2.348 million journeys, covering 81.133 million km.

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