Tuesday 19 October 2021

Sharjah-Dubai metro 'to help reduce traffic by 30pc'

DUBAI, January 28, 2018

A metro link connecting the northern emirate of Sharjah with Dubai’s Green Line could help reduce traffic on the congested highways between the emirates by more than 30 per cent, according to a new study.

Conducted by Aurecon, a Dubai-based international transport planning firm that works closely with the local transport authorities, the study highlights the economic impact of congestions between the two emirates and shows how a direct link between Al Qiyada metro station and Sharjah City Centre could offset at least a third of the current traffic problems, reported Gulf News.

The Aurecon study is most likely a first look into the possibility of linking the two emirates with the metro, stated the report.

The study found that currently, the five corridors between Dubai and Sharjah witness 900,000 vehicular trips daily, with 450,000 passing in each direction.

The combined peak direction flow on Ittihad Road, Damascas Street, Beirut Street, Mohammad Bin Zayed Road and Emirate Road is 52,000 passengers per hour during the morning peak hours, said the report citing a senior official.

“There could be more than one ways of linking the two emirates through the metro and this is one such hypothetical scenario of what could happen if a metro link is built between Dubai and Sharjah,” explained Nadeem Shakir, technical director at Aurecon, who headed the study.

“We developed the hypothetical direct link of 7.5km between Al Qiyadah station and Sharjah City Centre, with no stations in between. Such a project could be built at a cost of Dh3 billion, almost 30 per cent less than the amount lost in traffic congestion annually and this could help in transporting around 16,000 passengers per peak hour out of the 52,000 passengers that currently use private vehicles,” stated Shakir.

The expert pointed out that the five corridors in total have a capacity of 33,200 vehicles per hour, but somehow through a lot of squeezing around 40,000 vehicles use the highways per peak hour, causing delays of up to two hour 40 minutes.

"We calculated the economic impact of the time and fuel lost during these delays and found that Dh4.3 billion is lost per year,” remarked Shakir.

"With this kind of money we can build a 12-km metro line per year," he added.

Shakir pointed out that since increasing the lane capacity between the emirates was not a feasible solution, the only option left to ease the congestion was the metro link.

Using the demand-supply elasticity model, the study found that about 30 per cent of the private vehicular demand plus some of the existing demand on the buses will divert to the metro system, he added.

But, Shakir cautioned that additional demand from Sharjah might put significant load on the Dubai’s metro network, which are already running at their capacity during the peak hours.

Among the long-term solutions to the traffic woes, he suggested building of more affordable housing in Dubai to spread the population and reduce the trip lengths on the road networks.

Tags: Sharjah | Dubai metro | Traffic | study | Aurecon |

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