Metro to run round the clock; feeder buses to transport passengers from parking lots
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) will operate the Metro for an extended period, create 13,500 additional parking spaces and add new signage for the smooth movement of traffic on December 31 and January 1 for New Year festivities and fireworks.
The plan is to ensure smooth traffic flow near The Dubai Mall – Burj Khalifa during the celebrations where crowds are expected to gather for the annual fireworks display.
“The traffic plan features the provision of additional parking spaces and directional signage, and extended operation of the Metro from 5.30am on December 31 up to midnight of January 1. The Dubai Metro will adopt a skip-stop operation system that is stopping at only one station of the following three stations: Business Bay, Dubai Mall – Burj Khalifa, and Financial Centre. The Metro will stop at one of these three stations and skip the other two from 4pm on December 31 up to 4pm on January 1 in order to increase the passenger capacity of the three stations. During the period, the Metro ridership is anticipated to hit 749,842 riders on the Red Line and 359,025 riders on the Green Line.
The team has provided 13,500 additional parking slots near the events area; 8,000 parking at Meydan, 2,500 at the World Trade Centre, 1,500 parking at Residency & Foreigners Affairs Department at Jafiliya, and 1,500 parking at Zaabeel Park,” explained Maitha bin Udai, CEO of RTA Traffic and Roads Agency.
“Signages are being set up to direct traffic to alternative parking and to the internal roads network at the Business Bay to access the Shaikh Zayed Road and Al Khail Road to ease pressure on the Financial Centre Road. Work is currently on in setting up a solid rail in the median of the Shaikh Zayed Road in the sector along the Burj Khalifa and the Business Bay in order to fend off pedestrian crossing and traffic disruption. A bus shuttle service will be operated to transport passengers from the eastern side of the Shaikh Zayed Road to the Western side of the Road. Traffic signals on the Financial Centre Road and the Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard will ensure smooth traffic flow during various peak hours, and the Virtual Messaging Signs will be used to alert road users of any road closure as well as directing the public to use alternative locations for parking their vehicles,” she elaborated.
Sixty feeder buses will be deployed to serve the Metro with additional parking and alternative taxi ranks, over and above the existing routes serving the neighbourhood. Fifteen buses will be deployed to serve Meydan parking, 20 buses will serve Trade Centre parking, 15 buses will serve the parking of Zaabeel Park as well as the Residency & Foreigners Affairs Department, and 10 buses will be deployed to move the public from the eastern part of the Shaikh Zayed Road to the Western part of the road.
Locations of feeder buses have been identified and dedicated bus lanes will ensure easy movement of buses. Buses will be in operation around the clock and will synchronize with the operation of the metro stations.
Emaar has expressed readiness to bear all operational expenses of the above buses. Thus riders will be treated to free rides. Public bus ridership is expected to reach 49,920 passengers, and the event held at the Dubai Mall – Burj Khalifa is likely to post a 30 per cent increase in public transport users compared to the numbers recorded last year.
Parking spaces and a dedicated lane have been designated for taxis to facilitate taxi access to the event venue, where two main car parks have been allocated, namely the sandy area of the Business Bay at the end of the tunnel extending from street No. 312 which can house up to 300 vehicles. Both the tunnel and the lane on this street will be restricted to taxis and buses to serve as an express lane from the Trade Centre to the event’s venue. The second car park is the sandy area alongside the Financial Centre Road, which can accommodate about 500 vehicles. A temporary exit has been set up leading taxi cabs directly from the parking area to Al Khail Road.
Alternative parking spaces have also been designated to accommodate cabs during peak hours at both Trade Centre & Jafiliya Station parking lots, besides opening new bus routes to lift passengers to the alternative locations.
Fifty-five Limousine companies will also be invited to offer services to passengers during the event. Taxi cabs are expected to lift 120,400 passengers in 69,000 trips from and to the event’s venue.
During the New Year’s Eve celebrations, the Dubai World promises a record-breaking firework shows at the Palm Jumeirah. Fireworks will be displayed all over the Palm Jumeirah. As many as 50,000 viewers are expected to attend the event, including 30,000 people among the residents and visitors of the Atlantis Hotel.
Three checkpoints have been set up as the entry to the Palm Jumeirah on the day will be restricted to residents, invitation and pass card holders, pre-booking holders, taxis and buses.
Entry to the Palm Jumeirah will, however, be denied to all vehicles including card holders, taxis and buses from 10pm on December 31 — that is two hours before the start of firework displays. All roads leading to the Palm from Sufouh Road or from the circular bridges at the Palm’s entrance will be closed in coordination with the Dubai Police.
Given the lack of parking spaces for such huge attendance inside the Palm Jumeirah and in order to avoid traffic jam in the Palm’s internal roads, alternative parking areas have been designated outside the Palm, and accordingly buses will shuttle invited guests and booking holders to the venue. The designated parking spaces are, American University car parks, which can hold about 600 vehicles, and the sandy area at the Dubai Internet City which can accommodate 1,300 vehicles. Atlantis Hotel management has expressed readiness to prepare the area and provide all traffic safety means including lighting during the event.
An area along Al Sufouh Road has been designated as a public parking space to enable the public to watch the firework displays. All traffic signals along Al Sufouh Road will be controlled to ease the traffic during peak hours.
Concerning public buses service at the Palm Jumeirah area, 40 feeder buses of the Nakheel Harbor and Tower Station will shuttle people between the event’s venue and the alternative car parks mentioned above, where access cards will be checked at the designated parking spaces. The Dubai World has expressed commitment to bear all operation expenses of the -above-mentioned bus routes, thus offering free service to the public and facilitating bus riding process.
Moreover, parking lots have been designated for taxis and 55 limousine companies will be invited to offer service to the public during the event. Taxis on the day are expected to lift 5,200 passengers in 3,000 trips from and to event venue.
The Leader of RTA’s Team for Managing Traffic Movement and Handling Operational Plans during Official and Annual Events said: “The light signals control room will monitor the traffic in the area and the team will direct it according to the requirements of handling the traffic movement and volume at intersections and streets adjacent to the Burj Khalifa. Variable Messaging Signs will provide guidance to drivers about alternative routes; and operation team members will be available at site to coordinate with the Dubai Police and Emaar to ensure the implementation of the proposed operational plans and carry out the required amendments.
Maitha bin Udai called upon all community members to use the metro and public transport rather than private vehicles, especially during festivities in Dubai, such as for the New Year’s Eve celebrations, pointing out that the team’s plan had taken into account the demand for public transport and provided everything required to accommodate the growing numbers of potential riders.