Sunday, 18 October 2009

Take the Metro to Dubai Airport but don't bring your suitcase.

The RTA in Dubai has published figures which show the Metro station at Terminal 3 of Dubai airport is the least used of the 10 stations opened to date. You'd think it would be one of the busiest with people heading out to catch planes or to meet incoming passengers, but there's a snag...suitcases are not allowed on the Dubai Metro. Only "carry-on" luggage is allowed because the RTA wants to prevent hordes of people using the train for goods deliveries.  What other train system in the world has this bizarre rule?  Why aren't the rail authorities in London, New York, Paris or Moscow quaking at the thought of their train carriages filling up with fridge movers, the IKEA delivery guys and battalions of blokes pushing trolleys loaded with photocopier paper?
Source: 18 Oct 09
Transport chiefs might look at increasing the luggage allowance for passengers on the Dubai Metro if they are inundated by requests to do so, it was reported on Sunday.
Current rules allow commuters to carry only hand luggage, which has left many Arabian Business reader wondering why stations were built at Dubai International Airport.
Since the launch of the rail system, many readers have left comments on stories asking for the Roads and Transport Authority to reconsider the rules.
Peyman Parham, director of marketing and corporate communication, RTA, told Emirates Business: "If just a few people come and ask us for more baggage allowance, we will not consider it. But if tens of thousands said they would use the Metro if they are allowed to carry heavy luggage we would consider it."
A station at Terminal 1 has yet to open, although Terminal 3 station, which exclusively services Emirates airline flights, is in operation.
Parham insisted that business travellers would still ride the Metro.
"Dubai is a centre of transit and many people travel light. We're allowing bag sizes that one would typically pack for a short three- or four-day trip somewhere. And there are many of those travellers," he told the paper.
But he added that the Rail Department conducted regular mobility studies for issues such as these.
"Nothing is set in stone. We will run a study for this issue when the appeals increase. If the study tells us a majority of travellers will use the metro if they are allowed to carry more luggage, I can tell you it will be considered," he said.
The Dubai Metro launched its Red Line more than a month ago on September 9 and has transported more than a million passengers since.
When completed mid-next year, the Red line will have 29 stations spanning 52.1km and run from Al Rashidiya to Jebel Ali along Sheikh Zayed Road for most of its length.

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