x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Special taxis for Metro commuters

Municipal authorities are to assign some 300 taxis to serve commuters of the network.

Bus and taxi stations service commuters at Union Square metro train station in Deira Dubai.
Bus and taxi stations service commuters at Union Square metro train station in Deira Dubai.

DUBAI // Concerned that many people are using the Metro for pleasure rather than to get to work and back, municipal authorities are to assign some 300 taxis to serve commuters of the network. The special taxis are being deployed by the Dubai Taxi Corporation to bolster the existing bus feeder services. Meanwhile, according to the Roads and Transport Authority, Eid gave the Metro its busiest days yet. The trains carried 97,527 passengers on Sunday, and 97,881 on Monday, the corporation said in a statement.

Yet some residents say they will need a more comprehensive complementary transport service before they can depend on the Metro for their daily commute. "The Metro is a good thing to have here, but I am still using my car because not all the phases are complete," said Dipal Buch, an Indian resident of Bur Dubai. "Until then, it is not that useful." As a result, the Dubai Taxi Corporation is working to include taxis in the Metro feeder services.

There are more than 7,000 taxi drivers based in Dubai. Among the visitors to Dubai on Sunday was Marions Popa, a Romanian national living in Abu Dhabi who was planning to travel from one end of the Metro line to the other. "We came down from Abu Dhabi just to ride the Metro," she said. "We read about it in the newspapers and thought we'd try it out on our free day." For Sadaf Pitt and her family, using the Metro on Sunday meant being whisked out of one area of Dubai and discovering somewhere new.

"If the Metro didn't exist, we would probably have stayed here," she said at the Mall of the Emirates station, waiting to pass through the barriers to board the train to Rashadiya with her husband and four-year-old daughter, Parisa. "We thought we'd check it out, because the alternative at the moment is to just hang out at the mall." nsamaha@thenational.ae