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Dubai tramway open

The first phase of the Dubai Tram (previously Al Sufouh Tram) was inaugurated on 11 November and offered revenue service from 12 November. The first tram was flagged off by His Highness Shaik Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, from the depot at 18.45. The tramway has been promoted since 2005 by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) as an integrated part of the Emirate's transit system and was originally intended to open in 2009. Financial problems led to the opening being postponed to 2012, and then 2014.

The first 10.6km link Al Safouh and Jumeira Beach Residence 1 via Dubai Marina, with 11 air-conditioned stops, including interchange with the Palm Jumeirah monorail and Jumeira Lakes Towers and Dubai Marina metro stations. In a few years the standard-gauge line will be extended further east to reach 14.5km and Mall of the Emirates (another metro interchange). In 2008 RTA selected the ABS consortium (Alstom, Besix and Serco) to build what was known as the Yellow Line; the line is the first outside Europe to use the Alstom APS surface contact power supply system and the only overhead is within Al Sufouh depot.

11 seven-section 44m Alstom Citadis have been delivered for the first phase; 14 more are on order for the completed line, but no timescale for delivery has been announced. Trams run every 10 minutes at peak periods and every 12 minutes at other times, 06.30-01.30 on Saturday-Thursday and 09.00-01.30 on Fridays. The peak vehicle requirement is eight trams (it is hoped to achieve a commercial speed of 30 km/h. The first phase does not cross a zonal boundary, so the standard Silver class fare is DDH 3, or DDH 6 in Gold Class. Equivalent prices for one-week tickets are DDH 50 and DDH 80. Each tram has eight Gold Class seats, 44 Silver seats and 24 seats for women and children. Total capacity of a tram including standing passengers is 405. There are two wheelchair spaces. 27 000 passengers/day are expected after opening. This will increase to 66 000 by 2020.

13 November 2014


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