The Dubai Metro will begin operating at 10am on Fridays instead of the current 1pm from October 2, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority has announced.
The early start comes in response to repeated requests from commuters and will improve access to tourist, commercial and residential facilities across the city, the RTA said.
The services of the Dubai Tram have also been modified with the Marina loop trips now suspended. The semi-circular loop service covered four stations – Jumeirah Beach Residence 1, Jumeirah Beach Residence 2, Jumeirah Lake Towers and Dubai Marina Mall.
Following the cancellation of the loop service, the Tram’s total transit time will be reduced to 45 minutes from 54 minutes. Tram services will now end at 1am instead of 1.30am everyday.
Chief executive of RTA Rail Agency Abdullah Al Ali said: “Studies had been conducted about the performance of the Dubai Tram with a view to sourcing the best suggestions for boosting riders’ satisfaction.
“The number of riders using this semi-circular Tram service (Marina Loop) is 6 per cent of total riders as revealed by statistics during the period from December 2014 to May 2015.
“The study stated that abolishing this service would bring about a lot of positives such as slashing the total transit time from 54 minutes to 45 minutes, and improving the service frequency to eight minutes.”
Dubai has seen a steady increase in public transport users in recent months. Around 88 million users rode the Dubai Metro in the first half of 2015, up 8.3 per cent from 81.4 million riders during the same period last year, the RTA recently revealed.
The Dubai Tram also saw around 1.8 million passengers in H1 2015.
Overall, public transport usage in Dubai grew from six per cent in 2006 to 14 per cent in 2014. Authorities are further aiming to increase that figure to 30 per cent by 2030.