Dubai Metro’s Red Line will be partially closed during the weekends for 10 weeks beginning on July 28 as part of the Route 2020 project.
The Rail Agency of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) confirmed that the move is due to constructional changes on the route of the Dubai Metro Red Line to link it with the Route 2020 project.
The plan will involve extending the Red Line to the site of Dubai World Expo, which will take place in 2020.
“The constructional changes require a partial closure of the rail track of the Metro Red Line between Jumeirah Lake Towers station and Ibn Battuta station during weekends (Fridays and Saturdays only) over 10 weeks starting from July 28 up to October 14, 2017,” said Mohammed Yousef Al Mudharreb, director of Rail Operation, RTA’s Rail Agency.
The RTA has arranged an alternative operational plan, under which Metro riders will be offered free shuttle bus services between the two stations.
Metro commuters heading towards the UAE Exchange station will need to get off at the JLT station, take a free bus ride to the Ibn Battuta station and then continue their journey by metro.
Those travelling in the direction of Al Rashidiya station need to get off from the metro at Ibn Battuta station, take free bus rides to JLT Metro station and can then resume their journey on the metro.
“The RTA has conducted intensive field studies, in collaboration with the contractor, to ensure that the alternative plan would be highly efficient in commuting riders between the two stations, given the intensive traffic movement over the weekends,” asserted Al Mudharreb.
“According to the plan, the contractor will upgrade the automatic operation system and add switches point to enable trains switch rail tracks and return at JLT and Ibn Battuta Metro stations,” he added.
The Route 2020 project involves extending the Dubai Metro Red Line for 15km from Nakheel Harbour and Tower station to the site of Expo 2020.
It comprises 11.8km as an elevated track and 3.2km as an underground track. It has seven stations, including an interchange station, one station at Expo site – featuring aeroplane wing shaped structures, three elevated stations and two underground stations.
A Dhs10.6bn contract for the Route 2020 metro expansion was awarded to a consortium led by France’s Alstom, the RTA announced in June last year.
Trials are expected to begin by the end of 2019 with the route to become operational five months before the start of Expo 2020 in October.
The capacity of Route 2020 is 46,000 users per hour in both directions – equalling 23,000 users per hour per direction.
The ridership of the route is expected to hit 125,000 users per day by 2020, and rise to 275,000 users per day by 2030, according to the RTA.