Dubai: Have you tried taking Dubai Metro’s Route 2020? The stations on the Red Line extension, which opened this year, features “smarter ticket vending machines, smarter fare gates, dazzling interior, convenient parking and upgraded trains,” the Roads and Transport Authority tweeted on Tuesday.
The Route 2020 opened to the public on January 1 with four stations — Jabal Ali, The Gardens, Discovery Gardens, and Al Furjan — while three other stations (Jumeriah Golf Estates, Dubai Investment Park, and Expo2020) will commence operations before the opening of Dubai Expo 2020.
The Dubai Metro extension on the Red Line is not only dedicated to the Expo 2020 site but the mass transit network is also built to serve around 270,000 residents living in the fast-growing communities along the route. Route 2020 will also be connected with Al Maktoum International Airport between Dubai Airports and other communities.
Travelling on Route 2020 is safe and comfortable, the RTA noted. It is also stylish. Aside from the iconic Expo 2020 station, which resembles wings of an aircraft signifying Dubai’s flight to the future, each station has a distinct interior design taking the elements of nature, including earth, air, fire and water. Smart gates, bigger capacity
Abdul Mohsen Ibrahim Younes, CEO of Rail Agency at RTA, earlier noted the new Route 2020 have bigger capacity. “Each new train can accommodate up to 699 passengers, as compared to 643 passengers for trains on the Red Line,” he said, adding: “The last cabin of the train is reserved for women and children and part of the first cabin is allotted as Gold Class while the rest are Silver Class. Seats are in a transversal style in the Gold Class and longitudinal pattern in both the Silver Class and Women & Children cabin.
Route 2020 also have smart fare gates. Unlike traditional barriers that only have sensors to open and close at fixed intervals, the smart gates at Route 2020 have 3D cameras as an added safety feature. These 3D cameras mounted on top scan the passengers from top to bottom and determine if the person would need more time to pass the gate.
Hasan Al-Mutawa, Director of Rail Operations at RTA, explained further how a smart gate works. He said: “If someone is carrying a stroller, the camera will send a signal to the gate to keep it open for a longer time to let the person pass safely. The smart cameras also have facial recognition and the smart fare gates are fitted with high accuracy scanning of Nol cards and mobile phones. The smart gates also require little space and we were able to put more gates so people can check in and check out swiftly especially during busy hours.”
Another striking feature of Route 2020 is energy efficiency. All stations use HESOP or Harmonic and Energy Saving Optimiser system. The system uses regenerative electricity or works by converting and transferring any unused power. For example, the energy not used and generated by a train while braking can be transferred to next train or to any accelerating trains on the grid. Al Furjan is the first station to get the Gold LEED certificate, the internationally recognised green building certification system.
Dubai rail network
With Route 2020, the total length of Dubai Metro (Red and Green lines) now stands at 90km, while the overall rail network in Dubai is at 101km, including the 11km Dubai Tram track.
Timings and bus links
Service timings of Route 2020 are synchronised with Metro Red Line. Operations are 5am to 12 midnight from Saturday to Wednesday; 5am to 1am (next day) on Thursday; and 10am to 1am (next day) on Friday.
Two Metro link bus services also opened on January 1. The first is Route F45, which starts from Al Furjan Metro Station and heads to the Discovery Gardens at a 20-minute frequency during peak hours. The second is Route F56, which starts from the Dubai Internet City Station and heads to Al Khail Metro Station at a frequency of 15 minutes during peak hours.
Ample parking is available at Route 2020 stations.