Dubai to start tram services next year
Dubai, February 22, 2008
Dubai is set to launch its first tram service next year with the completion of the $500-million Al Sofouh network project by September 2009.
The trams are expected to accommodate 5,200 passengers per hour in each direction, said a Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) official.
The 15-kilometre line would run on Al Sofouh Road connecting Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Residence and Jumeirah Lake Towers, Abdulredha Abu Hassan, Director of Rail Planning and Design, was quoted as saying in the Khaleej Times.
“Proposed to run from Dubai Marina via Dubai Media City and Knowledge Village to Madinat Jumeirah, Mall of the Emirates and Burj Al Arab, the tram service will not only be an effective solution to the traffic woes but will also become another major tourist attraction in Dubai,” Abdulredha said.
“For the moment, 19 stations are being planned. Three of the tram stations would connect to the Dubai Metro Red Line at the Dubai Marina Metro station, Ibn Battuta Station and the Burj Al Arab station to facilitate the commuters. The future plans include the extension of the tram line up to the Union House on the Jumeirah Road. The plan is being studied at the moment,' he noted.
The network, Abdulredha said, will also be extended to new areas in line with the Dubai Metro.
'The entire work would be completed in different phases. The network would prove as one of the major modes of integrated public transport system, currently developed by the RTA,” the official added.
With the Dh15.5-billion Dubai Metro Project work on in full swing,
the RTA is now readying to put the Al Sofouh Tram network on track.
Senior officials of the Rail Agency recently visited Spain and France in order to learn about the manufacturing of trams. The visit was aimed at gathering information about their network and integration with the other modes of transport.
“The recent trip was a great learning experience for us. Dubai has yet a long way to go and we have plenty to study and implement in terms of transport. We are glad to learn about the operation of the two tram lines in Barcelona and to study their integration with other modes of transport,” he further stated.
The officials toured the tram manufacturing factory in Barcelona where they were briefed about the operation, controls and production line of the trams. In Madrid, the officials visited the underground stations and the Operations Control Centre of the high speed commuter trains.
In the French city of Bordeaux, the rail engineers toured the city to study the tram network and its integration with other modes of transport.