Dubai: The first phase of the planned Abu Dhabi Metro project will be operational by 2015, a senior official says.
“The first phase of the metro will be 42.5-km-long and it will be ready to operate by September 2015,” said Dr Abdul Qader Al Shahbani, project manager of the Surface Transport Master Plan at the Department of Transport (DoT) in Abu Dhabi.
Speaking at the Mena Rail 2009 conference on Tuesday in Dubai, he said the 42.5km track for the first metro line would be 2.13km at grade track (ground level), 4.91km elevated, 16.2km cut and cover tunnel and 19.26km in the bored tunnels.
Dr Al Shahbani, in his presentation on ‘Abu Dhabi Rail Projects, Challenges, Issues and Plans’, talked about the capital city’s master transport plan 2030 and explained how it would be implemented in phases to cope with the increasing transport needs of the emirate in the wake of massive development.
He said the Abu Dhabi master transport plan 2030 includes 580km of High Speed Railway Lines, 350km of LRT (light-rail tram) system and 130km of metro system.
The railway will serve Abu Dubai and will also provide vital links to Dubai, Al Ain, the Western Region and Saudi Arabia. Study for the inter-emirate rail system will start in 2010.
The 350km of LRT/tram system will serve areas within Abu Dhabi city and the 130km of metro system will link the airport with the central business district and other important areas. Areas close to the metro will be served by trams.
The study for the metro project will start in August 2009 while the LRT/tram study will start in November 2009.
“The studies have suggested that it would not possible to cater to the transport needs of the emirate if the proposed rail and other mass transit projects are not implemented,” he said.
The current population of Abu Dhabi is 900,000 and it is expected to increase to 3.2 million by 2030. At present, daily personal trips of people on roads are 1.2 million a day and the number will increase to 5.4 million personal trips a day by 2030 with the current ratio. Abu Dhabi received 1.8 million tourists last year and the number is set to increase to 7.9 million by 2030.
Dr Al Shahbani said the DoT is working on 2030 Action Plan and it would be implemented in phases as each five year has specific targets to achieve.
“The existing road network will reach its capacity by 2015 and will not be able to cope with the transport needs of increasing number of population without the rail network with a combination of improved road network, public transport buses, marine transport and implementation of other policies,” he said.