x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Fine behaviour on the Dubai Metro

Twenty-one months after the launch of the Metro in Dubai, the rules of behaviour onboard remain unclear even to regular users. Here, a dose of common sense is in order.

Here's what a bad day on the Dubai Metro could cost you: first, you doze off in the waiting area (Dh300); now you're late, so you make a run for the doors (Dh100); in doing so, you spill your cup of coffee (Dh100), causing a visible stain (Dh200). Total cost: Dh700 in fines plus the subway fare.

As The National reported yesterday, 21 months after the launch of the Metro, the rules of behaviour remain unclear even to regular users. Not many would argue against penalties for smoking, littering, drinking alcohol or damaging security devices. Even eating and drinking are prohibited in many metros around the world. But feeding a baby? Or running to catch a train?

Here, a dose of common sense is in order. A parent feeding a baby is unlikely to be the kind of person to start a food fight. In fact there is little doubt that most passengers would prefer a fed, quiet child to a hungry, screaming one. And as long as trains have existed, there have been passengers racing to get on board.

Strict rules are unlikely to turn users away from the Metro, but the service would only be benefitted by clear, intuitive rules. With 16 new stations to open on the Green Line in September, thousands more people will use the Metro every day. Clear instructions on the rules would be welcome; so would doing away with some of the unnecessary ones.