Dubai’s RTA (Roads and Transport Authority) has revealed details on how its new Route 2020 will accommodate road transport such as buses and taxis as its integrated multi-modal mass transit plan hits high speed.
In the published plans, the new stations will be designed to follow its tried and trusted parking bays and bus lay-bys layouts deployed along its current Red and Green Dubai Metro routes.
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai officially inaugurated the operations of the Route 2020 project last week.
The $2.9 billion, 15km extension of the Dubai Metro Red Line, running from Jebel Ali Station to Expo 2020, linking seven stations is scheduled to open to the public in September this year.
Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Mohammed said that the UAE’s journey towards sustainable development is backed by quality projects and an infrastructure that is globally acclaimed for its efficiency and reliability.
Developed by Emirati talent with the support of international expertise, these projects meet the highest global standards as part of the objective of providing a superior quality of living and services for everyone, he said, according to a report by WAM.
“The UAE has exceptional goals and ambitions. Today, we are moving with confidence, determination and a clear vision to attain the highest levels of excellence in various fields. Our objective is to provide people everything that ensures their wellbeing, stability and happiness and establish a prosperous future for the coming generations.
“The world is today entering a new phase which brings unprecedented challenges that some may not be prepared to deal with. However, we have a strategy designed to tide over unforeseen challenges and create a positive future. Our nation is equipped with the plans, competencies and expertise needed to navigate these challenging global circumstances. We have the ability to overcome all obstacles while sustaining our progress and generating new opportunities,” Sheikh Mohammed added.
The launch took place in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai; H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai; H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and CEO and Chairman of the Emirates Group; H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Media Council.
Upon arrival at Jebel Ali Metro Station, Sheikh Mohammed was welcomed by Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Roads and Transport Authority, RTA. At the station, His Highness and his entourage watched a video about the Route 2020 Project built as part of the leadership’s vision to promote the sustainable development of the emirate. The project was focused on building globally benchmarked infrastructure and services that meet the UAE’s aspirations themed ‘Towards the Next 50 Years’.
The video shed light on the communities served by Route 2020, such as The Gardens, Discovery Gardens, Al Furjan, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai Investment Park and the Expo 2020 site, which have a combined population of about 270,000.
The track extends 15 km (11.8 km elevated track and 3.2 km underground track) and links seven stations (one Interchange station with the Red Line, one iconic station at EXPO 2020 site, three elevated stations and two underground stations). While the project offers safe and smooth transport for Expo visitors and residents of Dubai communities, it is also viewed as a vital future link between several Dubai communities and Al Maktoum International Airport.
The new project serves as a symbol of sustainability, progress, and innovation for present and future generations, the report added.
Sheikh Mohammed and the entourage toured Jebel Ali Station, an interchange station that spans 8,800sqm in area with total capacity of 320,000 riders per day. His Highness boarded the new metro train, which features some modifications to the interior design of the metro carriages.
The train stopped at Expo 2020 Station, which has been designed to feature the wings of an aircraft, signifying Dubai’s future drive towards greater innovation. His Highness toured the station, which is 18,800sqm in area, with a total capacity of 522,000 riders per day in both directions at a rate of 29,000 riders per hour in both directions.
The station has three passenger platforms and three routes. It is linked on the eastern side with the Expo exhibition and Expo COEX, and on the western side with the EXPO Mall and urban complex. The station design enables its integration with public transport means with spaces for buses and taxis stands.
During the tour, Sheikh Mohammed unveiled a memorial of Expo 2020 station, an artwork inspired by the phrase “I believe in God” written in Arabic and taken from His Highness’s poem “The Beginning of the Fifty”. The poem, which encapsulates faith in God and wisdom, motivates the youth to make achievements and raise the standing of the homeland.
The memorial, designed by the international artist El Seed, is decorated in blue to match the predominant colour of the station. The monument measures 1.5×3.5 metres and is placed on a 1×4 metre base. The selection of the colour blue symbolises stability, loyalty, trust, intelligence and peace. His Highness posed for a photo with the project team supervising the construction of Route 2020.
Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer stated that Dubai Metro as a whole and Route 2020, in particular, was a brainchild of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. He noted that His Highness was keen to ensure the project featured a superior infrastructure, which reflects his belief that a metro system serves as the backbone of transit systems connecting key areas of Dubai.
“Route 2020 was blessed by the support and direct follow-up of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed together with His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Their Highnesses were key drivers of the project from the time of its conception. They closely followed up on the progress of the design and construction phases and launched milestones of the project all the way to the official opening,” said Al Tayer.
“Route 2020 has a capacity of 46,000 riders per hour in both directions (23,000 riders per hour per direction). RTA’s studies expect the number of riders using Route 2020 to reach 125,000 per day in 2021, and 275,000 riders per day by 2030. Studies also reveal that Expo 2020 Station is expected to record about 35,000 daily Expo visitors during weekdays, and the number to increase to 47,000 daily visitors during weekends. This number accounts for 29% of the total expected number of daily visitors of Expo,” explained Al Tayer.
RTA will open Route 2020 for the public this September and will reveal details of operations later on. Through the metro operator, RTA will continue the operational tests and trials over the following months. The test-run comprises of four phases; the first is the Static Test, where a motionless metro carriage will be placed on the track for carrying out a series of tests. Tests include communication systems, automated operation systems, electrical systems, air-conditioning, onboard electronic devices, lighting systems as well as motoring and braking equipment and the integration between various subsystems and components.
Work is currently underway on the second phase of mobile testing, which consists of a series of tests on a train in motion without passengers. Tests on the rolling stock cover motors, brake systems, loading, electric current systems, electromagnetic compatibility, automated train systems, rail communications systems, and speed.
RTA will shortly embark on Phase 3 of operational tests to verify system reliability and stability. These tests are key phases of the project and start after the completion of tests and integration of the entire systems. During this phase, the system will be running continuously in a mode similar to the normal revenue operation, but without passengers, with the aim of achieving the targeted operational performance indicator (KPI).
Phase 4 features a trial run to be conducted by the operator aimed at verifying the readiness of the operator before the start of actual service operations. The trial includes 14 days of operations without riders to test the various components of the metro system in all modes including normal, degraded and emergency.
The exterior designs of Route 2020 stations feature an enhanced version of the architectural design of existing metro stations along the Red and Green Lines. Such designs include four variations. The iconic Expo station features plane wings symbolising Dubai’s future aspirations and its focus on innovation.
The interchange station between Route 2020 and the Red Line at Jebel Ali Station has a design similar to that of current metro stations in order to maintain overall design identity. The other two patterns are for elevated and underground stations. The new designs allow for bigger capacities compared with the existing stations on the Red Line, besides design elements signifying simplicity, modernity and sustainability.
The areas of elevated stations range from 8,100 to 8,800sqm, and the areas of the two underground stations range from 27,000 to 28,700sqm. Expo 2020 Station spans 18,800sqm.
The interior designs of the stations feature a contemporary pattern and flow lines derived from the four elements of nature, namely: air (the pulse of life and the source of continuity), the earth (the constant element of nature), fire (the source of energy and strength), and water (the lifeline and source of inspiration), in addition to the design resembling future Dubai.
The design of the new stations enables integration with the public transportation system. Every station has bus and taxi laybys as well as stops for pick-up and drop-off.
There will be a key train service to link Terminal 1 Station and Terminal 3 Station of the Dubai International Airport with Expo 2020 Station. There will be a bus service for passengers departing from Expo Station to the Terminal at Al Maktoum International Airport to ease the movement of riders between the two airports. In the near future, Route 2020 will be extended 3.4 km from Expo 2020 Station to Al Maktoum International Airport to ensure a modern metro link between the two airports.
Route 2020 has seven stations including one interchange station with the Red Line, one Iconic Station at the site of Expo, three elevated stations and two underground stations, as follows:
- Jebel Ali Station
An interchange station connecting with the Red Line with a total area of 8,800 square metres and extending 150 metres in length, Jebel Ali Station can serve 17,000 riders per hour during peak times and 320,000 riders per day. The station has four platforms, four Bus laybys, 17 taxi drop off and seven parking slots designated for people of determination. It also offers eight retail units of 388 square metres for commercial investment.
- The Gardens Station
The Gardens Station is an elevated station spanning 8,100 square metres in area and extending 168 metres in length. It can serve 6,773 riders per hour during peak times and 125,000 riders per day. The station has two platforms, four Bus laybys, 20 taxi drop off slots and two designated parking slots for people of determination. It also offers five retail units of 161 square metres for commercial investment.
- Discovery Gardens Station
The Discovery Gardens Station is an elevated station spanning 8,600 square metres in area and extending 168 metres in length. It can serve 4,215 riders per hour during peak times and 125,000 riders per day. The station has two platforms, four Bus laybys, 20 taxi drop off slots and two parking slots for people of determination. It also offers four retail units of 149 square metres for commercial investment.
- Al Furjan Station
An elevated station spanning 8,400 square metres in area and extending 168 metres in length Al Furjan Station can serve 4,746 riders per hour during peak times and 125,000 riders per day. The station has two platforms, four Bus laybys, 20 taxi drop off slots and two designated parking slots for people of determination. It also offers four retail units of 149 square metres for commercial investment.
- Jumeirah Golf Estates Station
It is the largest underground station in Dubai with a total area of 28,700 square metres and extending 232 metres in length. It can serve 11,555 riders per hour during peak times and 250,000 riders per day. The station has two platforms, four Bus laybys, 20 taxi drop off slots and two designated parking slots for people of determination. It also offers 14 retail units of 466 square metres for commercial investment. The station has four ticket vending machines for buying and topping-up nol cards.
- Dubai Investment Park Station
It is the second underground station of Route 2020. It spans 27,000 square metres in area and extends 226 metres in length. It can serve 13,899 riders per hour during peak times and 250,000 riders per day. The station has two platforms, four Bus laybys, 20 taxi drop off slots and two designated parking slots for people of determination. It also offers eight retail units of 315 square metres for commercial investment.
- Expo Station
It is the terminal station of Route 2020 that mainly serves visitors of Expo. The station spans 18,800 square metres in area and extends 119 metres in length. It can serve 29,000 riders per hour during peak times and 522,000 riders per day. The station has three platforms, six Bus laybys, 20 taxi drop off slots and four designated parking slots for people of determination. It also offers nine retail units of 264 square metres for commercial investment. The station has eight ticket vending machines for buying and topping up Nol cards.
The Jumeirah Golf Estates Station is the biggest metro station in the entire Dubai Metro network. It serves highly populated communities such as the Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai Production City, and Dubai Sports City through metro bus link. In future, RTA will consider developing the surroundings of the station on the principles of a transit-oriented development model. The concept will significantly increase the capacity of the station and boost the number of users. The area to be built spans 360,000 square metres and buildings include residential flats and hotel apartments, commercial retail units and offices.
The contract of Route 2020 covers the supply of 50 trains (15 trains for serving Expo and 35 trains to improve the level of Dubai Metro service). Several improvements have been introduced to the interior design of the new trains to avail more convenience to riders and increase the capacity of carriages. In the new trains, the last cabin is designated for women and children and part of the first cabin is allotted as Gold Class and the rest are Silver Class. Seats are arranged in a transversal style in the gold cabin and longitudinal pattern in both the Silver Class and women and children cabin.
This distribution will increase the capacity of trains by 8% from 643 to 696 passengers. Improvements also include new designs for handles and lighting, using digital signage (VBSD). They also include an illuminated dynamic map for the metro route and stations, using LED power-saving lighting system, and modifying the design of the luggage compartment to make it usable by standing commuters. Improvements also cover the shape and the number of handles, the use of modern digital display systems, distribution of seats on two sides of the train and enhancement of the gangway connecting carriages. The new carriages ensure ease of use for People of Determination and the smooth boarding and alighting of riders.
The exterior design of trains will remain as it is to maintain the design and colour identity of the Dubai Metro.
The opening of Route 2020 Projects will bring a host of technical and economic benefits. From a technical perspective, the project will ease the traffic congestions in the areas it serves by 25%, and reduce 100,000 tonnes of carbon emissions by 2022, which will rise to a reduction of 170,000 tonnes by 2030.
Economically, the project will appreciate the rental and sales values of residential and commercial properties within 250 to 500 metres of the metro stations by 20-30%. Costs saved due to easing of traffic congestions is estimated to reach $952,912,450 in 2022 and $1,905,824,900 by 2030. It will also cut losses associated with traffic incidents by $35,393,891 in 2022, which is expected to rise to $70,787,782 by 2030. The project will enhance the competitiveness of Dubai in attracting global investors to the Emirate and in hosting international conventions and exhibitions. Such benefits are expected to bring a value of $462,843,190 by 2022 and $735,103,890 by 2030.
As part of efforts to save power consumption and increase the environmental sustainability of transit means, RTA has applied the HESOP (Harmonic Energy Saver Optimizer) technology which recovers the electrical Energy generated by the trains during braking. This energy is re-used to feed various loads in the Dubai metro facilities such as the ventilation and lighting systems as well as lifts.
There are eight HESOPs installed in the new line of the Route 2020 Project and seven HESOPs installed in the existing Red and Green Lines. The implementation of HESOP will reduce operational costs by $816,782 per annum, cut about 3 million kg of carbon emissions per annum, and reduce power consumption by 6.6 million kilowatts per annum.
With the opening of Route 2020, the total length of the Dubai Metro Red and Green Lines will increase to 90 km. At the same time, the total length of rail networks in Dubai will rise to 101 km (90km for the metro and 11km for the tram).