The UAE’s PM, VP and Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has approved plans to extend the Dubai Metro’s Red Line to the exhibition site of Expo 2020.
The extension, dubbed Masar 2020 project, will add 15 kilometres in length and seven stations to the line, state news agency WAM reported.
Out of this, 11km of the line will run on an elevated platform while the remaining four kilometres will be constructed underground.
Sheikh Mohammed has directed the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to immediately start the construction work of the Red Line extension.
The project is expected to be released for tendering in July 2016, RTA added.
“The RTA has mapped out an integrated plan for roads and transport projects to serve Expo highlighted by Masar 2020 project,” said Mattar Al Tayer, chairman of the board and executive director of RTA.
“The plan is meant to achieve sustainability of the project and accordingly the path is planned to link Expo site with a number of vital projects and locations in the area.”
He added that the RTA is also working with a number of other entities to chart the proposed paths of the Metro line.
In addition to providing an additional means of transportation to the Expo site visitors, the extended Red Line will also help reduce congestion on roads, RTA said.
“The RTA has examined different options of Masar 2020 and assessed their effectiveness and impact on the neighbourhood based on a host of technical perimeters that include the enhancement of the development plans in Dubai.
“It serves the largest possible number of residents as well as current and future projects, easing snarls on some congested road sectors, providing top class service to targeted communities, and integrating people with public transit systems and roads network in the emirate.
“The project serves densely with average-to-high population density such as the Gardens, Discovery Gardens, Furjan, Jumeirah Golf Estate, and Dubai Investment Park. These communities are inhabited by about 240,000 people and the journey from the Dubai Marina to the site of Expo will take 16 minutes.”
Dubai Metro’s expansion comes as the city prepares to submit its final Expo 2020 plan for approval at Bureau of International Expositions.
The extension project is one of the various projects that the emirate is undertaking ahead of the mega event.
Last year, the RTA announced that it will launch 35 new mega projects in 2015 including those designed for the Expo 2020.
The public transport agency also said that it will be working to upgrade the roads and junctions around the Expo site, while sourcing up to 39 new trains by 2020.
The RTA is also planning to expand the bus network to cover 16 districts, besides improving the service in 19 districts by 2020.