Dubai Metro to break even by 2017 - RTA boss

$4.2b light rail system set for profitability due to increased usage.


Dubai Metro, currently subsidised by the government, is forecast to break even by 2017, the head of the Road and Transport Authority said in a speech this week in London.

The US$4.2bn light rail system, launched in September 2009, will reach profitability within five years as a result of increased usage, additional revenues generated from station naming rights, rental of retail outlets and advertising, said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman and Director of the Road and Transport Authority (RTA).

In a speech at the MetroRail 2012 Conference in London, Al Tayer also stated the RTA’s bus network was likely to reach profitability by 2016.

The RTA said in January the Dubai Metro had lifted more than 69m passengers in 2011.

Figures showed a total of 346.5m passengers used public transport in Dubai last year, a rise of 4.3 percent rise compared to 2010.

A total of 107.4m people used public buses last year, an average of about 298,000 passengers per day, while more than 14m passengers used marine transit modes, which include abras, water bus and water taxis.

Taxis made 62.36m trips lifting about 155.9m passengers in 2011, the RTA added.

"The huge investments injected by the Dubai Government for the development of the infrastructure of transport sector have proved both successful and effective," Al Tayer said in January.

The average number of daily riders on Dubai's public transport system reached 963,000 compared to 922,000 in 2010, the RTA said.

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