Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) says that 30 million passengers have used Dubai metro in the first year of its operation.

The Red line of the metro first began operating on 9 September 2009 and about 2.2 million people used the metro in its first month.

In October 2009, about 1.8 million people travelled the metro. This jumped to 3.3 million in August 2010.

The daily ridership of the Dubai Metro jumped from 54,683 passengers in October 2009 to 116,340 passengers last June, recording a growth rate of 212 per cent. Last July, the metro daily ridership hit an all-time high as the number of passengers who used the metro on 1 July reached 130,529 passengers.

Mattar al-Tayer, chairman of the board and executive director of the RTA attributes the growth in passenger traffic to the volume of tourists that come to Dubai in the summer due to the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) and also the promotional offers made by the city’s hotels and malls.

“These indicators reconfirm that RTA is processing ahead with its drive to achieve its strategic objective of raising the share of mass transit modes in the number of person trips to 30 per cent by 2020,” says al-Tayer. “The indicator is currently pointing to 12.6 per cent.”

The Red line runs for 52 kilometres and has 21 operational stations. The RTA said that not all of the remaining eight stations on the Red line will open by the end of 2010 as planned.

The delay is due to low expectations of passenger volume and a lack of development around some of the stations. While some of the eight remaining stations will be open by the end of the fourth quarter, the rest will depend on passenger traffic forecasts.

The stations that are not yet open are Business Bay, First Gulf Bank, Sharaf DG, Nakheel, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Energy Station, Jebel Ali Industrial and Jebel Ali. Only Sharaf DG and Jumeirah Lakes Towers are near residential areas.

The Green line is due to open in August 2011 after a year-long delay. The Green line will be 23-km when complete and will have 18 stations. Trial runs of the trains have now started between Al-Nahda and Healthcare City.